Girls and Autism Spectrum Disorder–providing support for success

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It is not widely known, but girls can have autism spectrum disorder, although it’s more commonly diagnosed in boys. Unfortunately, research has lacked in the area of ASD and girls, which challenges families and health care providers. A study conducted in the Netherlands in 2013, found that girls are diagnosed two years later than boys. This delays getting them help and supportive services that could greatly help them.
Girls tend to show milder symptoms than boys. Signs can include: depression, anxiety, poor social skills, high level of intelligence, obsessions with routines, rigid thinking, insensitive to the feelings and needs of others.
Adolescence brings particular struggles to girls with ASD. Negotiating peer relationships and additional life responsibilities are especially trying once a girl with ASD becomes a teen. Sometimes the sense of isolation increases, as the perception that peers are developing and engaging in typical peer interactions For a girl with ASD this is often an area of great struggle. Sometimes girls who have ASD are emotionally immature, which only furthers the sense of alienation from peers. Their interests are often quite limited and sometimes unusual to others. This presents challenges to them, their families and any potential friends. They also might prefer activities that don’t involve interacting with others, reading, playing video games, for example.

We recognize that many services are developed around the needs boys on the spectrum We want to close that gap and offer services geared toward girls. To help them navigate challenges of life, their disorder, develop fulfilling relationships and go on to attain success in life.
Ms. LaVante Dorsey, LCSW will be facilitating a girls group. It will be for girls ages 15-18 years old. This group will meet on Saturdays from 10am-11:30am at the CCD Newark office. We will limit participation to  six girls at any given time,  to assure for comfort level and that each girl gets what she needs.

Group topics
Social skills development
Self-esteem enhancement
Learn how to manage intense emotions
Relaxation training
Parental relationships
Future goals
Self-acceptance
Improve emotional literacy
Parents will be able to attend a group session to ask questions and get information on better understanding their child with ASD.

We will accept insurance, self-pay, including health spending accounts for group services. You can get your child registered for the group by calling Ms. Dorsey at 302-292-1334 x702. Again, we will have a limited amount of slots to maximize the benefits for each girl.