Assumptions about women with autism

07/03/2024 / Esther Oomen

Assumptions about women with autism

On 8 March, it is International Women’s Day. In many countries, women are doing well. More and more attention is being paid to equality between women and men. In some countries, as you know, such equality is still a long way off. Autism looks different in everyone and there are also general differences between men and women. There are still many assumptions about women with autism, which means that the person is not always seen in a correct way.

Social interaction

An important issue here, for example, is social interaction. Women with autism are often, not always, adept at social interaction. They know what is expected of them and, at the surface, they can meet it just fine. Others assume therefor they have no difficulty in social interaction.

In the background, all sorts of things happen in those situations. Think, for example, of having lunch together at lunchtime. Super fun, some think. Managers often think ‘it’s important to be able to talk about things other than your work with your colleagues’. ‘Then you belong to the group, if you join in’.

‘Getting along’ takes a lot of energy

However, what people without autism often don’t realise is that ‘being sociable’ during a break takes a lot of energy. A break is meant to unwind. To take a break from work and just relax. In a way that suits you. If you then have to ‘work’ very hard to ‘join in the fun’, that defeats the purpose of having a break.

If you ‘joined in socially’ during the break, then afterwards much of your energy for the day is lost. In this way, you will be short of energy every day which can really lead to burnout, for example.

Autism in women

People with (suspected) autism often run into things in terms of:

In women with (suspected) autism, you often see the following features:

These characteristics are not really specific to women; men can experience them just as well. However, they are more common in women. The list is not exhaustive; other things can also come into play. The amount of bother you experience also depends on the situation, how you slept, whether you feel good about yourself, etc.

Do you recognise yourself in the above characteristics and would you like to learn how to get through your working day? Then register now here for the free webinar Autism in the workplace (in Dutch).

Are you understood at work?

Do you feel that you are understood at work? And are you getting the support you need?

I often see women and men with (suspected) autism feeling that they are not understood at work. And that their colleagues do not understand autism, let alone can take into account their colleague with (traits of) autism.

What can be very helpful here is having a conversation with your manager and/or HR. And I am happy to help you with this. Let’s start with a free de-stress session, so we can get to know each other and discuss what you are up against. Request your de-stress session below.

Want to learn how to get through your working day? Then register now here for the free webinar Autism in your workplace (in Dutch).

Are you a manager or HR employee and want to learn what you can do in the workplace for your employee with (suspected) autism? Then register now here for the free webinar Dealing well with autism (in Dutch).