Women and girls: Interview with Dr Elisabeth Hurley

Dr Elisabeth Hurley is a research officer at Autism West Midlands and has delivered a number of workshops and conference talks on women and girls with autism. She has also recently produced the book “Ultraviolet Voices – Stories of Women on the Autism Spectrum” which is a collection of personal experiences written by women and girls with autism.

Elisabeth kindly agreed to be interviewed for Network Autism when she attended the NAS Women and Girls Conference in London. We asked Elisabeth a series of questions including questions posed by Network Autism members. You can view the full interview or clips of the individual questions below.

Full interview with Dr Elisabeth Hurley:

Women and girls on the autism spectrum: An interview with Dr Elisabeth Hurley (Full) from National Autistic Society on Vimeo.

Individual question clips:

1. You produced the book "Ultraviolet Voices, stories of women on the autism spectrum", could you tell us how this book came about?

2. Autism in women and girls is seemingly less common than in men and boys. Can you explain why we might see this and why it may be misleading?  

3. There is constantly growing understanding of how autism may effect or display differently in women and girls than in boys and men. What do you feel are the differences? 

4. Is there any practical advice you would give to professionals in supporting women and girls on the autism that differs to when supporting men/boys?

Questions from Network Autism members:

1. Growing numbers of females are being diagnosed with ASD. No doubt this growth is in line with growing awareness of how presentation differs between the genders, but how far do you agree with the theory that the male : female ratio (of those where it impacts quality of life regardless of "severity") could in fact be equal?

2. To what extent do you agree that, inadvertently or otherwise, there is a higher expectation for women than men to continue "Pretending To Be Normal" even after diagnosis and/or disclosure?

Author: Dr Elisabeth Hurley

Date added: 7 January 2015


Thu, 22/01/2015 - 22:27

A most interesting video. It would be great to know more about how young girls manage in secondary mainstream schools when they have autism.