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Difficulties in diagnosing ASD in girls and maintaining that diagnosis in adulthood services of Spanish mental health: A case study

ASD has a huge variability, so may be difficult make a good diagnosis, more over in female cases because it has been demonstrated that traits of ASD in girls are less obvious than those in males because of their camouflage and compensation strategies. This is an example of the peripli of a family to get a diagnosis of ASD since first worries and what happens when the child becomes an adult. First contact with public mental health services was at 9 years old for ADHD symptoms. The conclusion at that moment was SLD. At 13 years old a private therapist diagnosed ADHD and she began medical treatment. Next contact with public mental health services was at 16 years old for anorexic symptoms. Initially, the diagnosis was Anorexia Nervosa and Depressive Disorder but, during the treatment, therapists observed certain difficulties in relationships similar to ASD symptoms (first motivation for changing her looks was making friends, executive function difficulties, resistance to change, literal understanding of language, misunderstanding of social situations, some strange rituals..). Therefore, deeper investigations were commenced including a history of social and communication development, repetitive behaviours, ASD screening, ADOS-2 and ToM evaluation. Finally, ASD and Depressive Disorder combined with ADHD was diagnosed at 17 years old. When she started in adult services, the diagnosis was changed for Adaptative disorder..


Carol Amat Forcadell

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