Girls are diagnosed considerably later than boys on average (some research in Wales suggests 6 years later) and often not until secondary school, when everything changes and the young person’s coping and masking strategies no longer work. It’s part of Autistic Girls Network’s mission as a charity to campaign for greater understanding of how autism presents internally, which tends to be how autism commonly presents in girls (and if it doesn’t, they have probably been diagnosed much younger). If you have a better understanding of what you would be looking for, you can spot the signs and refer earlier so that neuro-affirmative support can be put in place. The earlier the young person is recognised as autistic and positively supported, the less likely that severe mental health issues will develop. Health and Social Care Professionals are likely to get involved as this crisis is developing and it’s vital to get a full understanding (encompassing co-occurrences like alexithymia) when you are making decisions which affect neurodivergent children and families.