The number of women testing for autism is on the rise – and so is the number of positive results. New data suggests that around 150,000 women took online autism tests last year, which are verified by health professionals. In 2020, 49,000 took the test.
Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder, commonly diagnosed in males when they’re children or teens. However the belief that autism is a male disorder has led many women to be undiagnosed.
Clinical Partners shared data showing that women made up 56% of those who took autism tests in 2021 – a 10% increase from 2020.
More women, including model and TV presenter Melanie Sykes, have been speaking out about the positivity that can come with an autism diagnosis.
After recently being diagnosed herself, Melanie said that she has been “celebrating”. She explains: “It’s fantastic, that’s why I’m celebrating it. I’ve always felt different to other people and how they think and operate, but now I know it’s because I’m autistic it makes me feel validated as I understand why.
“I’m relieved. It’s great to know and I’m very happy about it. Now I know what all my sensitivities are about.
“During lockdown I enjoyed not having to go out and socialise, to brave corporate events, shake hands and be pulled in for a kiss by complete strangers. I’ve always been uncomfortable in crowds or being touched by people I don’t know. My sensitivities are now completely validated because I’m autistic.”