According to recent research done at The University of California, Los Angeles, school-aged girls with high-functioning autism may be better at interacting and blending in with peers than boys with high-functioning autism. Research suggests this may be due to ‘social camouflaging’ or the ability to blend in with peers despite the fact that they may not necessarily be connecting or creating friendships. Differences between the genders play a large role in this study, with boys tending to be more isolated and having more repetitive behaviors and fixations which drive them away from socializing, while girls tended to more quiet and stayed closer to groups. The girls fixations are also perceived as more socially acceptable than those of their male counterparts. Preliminary results do suggest that there are differences in the brains of girls and boys with autism. Imaging shows that girls with autism have less disruption in the area of the brain that processes social information. These differences often lead to later diagnoses of the disorder in girls.
A new study from the University of Oslo has suggested the use of an Oxytocin nasal spray could benefit persons with Autism Spectrum disorders. The spray was used on adult men with ASD in a controlled study. Results indicated that subjects who were given a low dose nasal spray rated faces as happier. Oxytocin has been linked with improved social information processing. This study was published in Translational Psychiatry.