Document Type

Senior Honors Project

Publication Date



Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that requires thorough assessment and adherence to an established set of criteria in order to obtain diagnosis. Historically, the research conducted to set the standards for this criteria has been conducted on a narrow study population; this research is typically done with individuals who are assigned male at birth (AMAB), typically of a young age. However, the presentation of ASD symptomatology differs between AMAB and AFAB (assigned female at birth) individuals. As such, ASD is not as easily recognized in AFAB individuals, and is not as readily diagnosed, thus creating a diagnostic disparity between AMAB and AFAB individuals. Late or missed diagnosis of ASD in AFAB individuals can be a major detriment to an individual; lack of a diagnosis often results in a lack of support surrounding the needs of the autistic individual, and the lack of these supports can be harmful to physical and mental health in multiple regards. This project will focus on examining existing literature and research surrounding the history of ASD and its diagnosis and presentations, as well as the importance of receiving a diagnosis and support. The goal of this project is to construct a literature review illustrating the causes, the extent, and the consequences of this diagnostic gap, as well as what may be done to improve the existing disparity.


Honors Program