BU psychology academics Dr Rachel Moseley and Dr Julie Kirkby along with former MSc student Rachael Hitchiner have recently published a study looking at the emergence of sex differences between autistic men and women in a popular screening tool. It is important to research screening tools because they are often used for triaging – to decide who should be referred for a lengthy, expensive autism assessment, people are screened and only those who raise concerns are be put through to the assessment.
The screening instrument focused on in this study is the Ritvo Autism Asperger Diagnostic Scale-Revised (RAADS-R), a widely used questionnaire for assessing autism in adults with average or above average intelligence. Dr Moseley, Dr Kirkby and Rachael Hitchiner’s study suggests that autistic women, who often show different symptoms to men, may be less likely to be picked up by the screening tool.
The researchers hope that this study will raise awareness of how women may struggle to get a diagnosis and subsequent support.
Dr Moseley travelled to Rotterdam recently to present the results of the study at the International Meeting for Autism Research.
More detailed information about the project can be found here.