ONLINE COURSE: Autistic Girls & Women



This presentation will celebrate the unique presentation of autistic girls and women. It will increase awareness and knowledge of the female presentation of ASD and share strategies we find useful in clinical practice. We will address key challenges, including self-understanding, adolescence, relationships and expressing and managing emotions. We will provide strategies to maximise the possibility of successful outcomes.


  • Updated March 2022
  • 5 hours 40 mins
  • 30 days to complete course – Extend anytime
  • Downloadable Resources
  • Certificate of completion

Who will Benefit?

  • Parents and family members
  • Autistic girls and women
  • Health and educational professionals who see children and/or adolescents with autism as part of their practice, including:
    • Psychologists, Teachers, Teachers assistants, Occupational therapists, Speech pathologists, GPs, Paediatric psychiatrists, Paediatricians, Counsellors, Social workers, Mental health nurses, Nurse practitioners – mental health, Developmental educators

What will I be able to do as a Result of Completing this Course?

Understand the adaptations to autism by girls and women, their daily challenges in making and keeping friends, learning, sensory sensitivity, emotion expression and regulation and sense of self as well as achieving and maintaining employment and being a mother.

Does your Child or Adolescent have NDIS Funding?

If you are self-managed or third party-managed and parent education is in the Plan you can use your NDIS funding to attend this event.



Course Summary

This course celebrates the unique presentation of girls and women on the autism spectrum. The course will equip the participant to:

  • Understand why autistic girls and women are under diagnosed
  • Recognise camouflaging and compensation coping mechanisms
  • Recognise the ways the profile of abilities for girls may be different to boys with autism at different stages of development
  • Appreciate the different pathways to diagnosis in autistic adolescent girls and women
  • Utilise two new screening tools (QAS-C) designed to identify the characteristics of ASD level 1 in children and adolescents and in women
  • Understand issues regarding self-identity and low self-esteem for autistic girls and women
  • Strategies to enhance the concept of self
  • Learn activities in a group programme (Being Me) developed for teenage girls with ASD
  • Recognition of the effects of alexithymia and empathic attunement on the ability to experience and express emotions
  • Strategies to recognise and regulate emotions
  • The value of Energy Accounting to reduce the depth and duration of depression
  • Understanding how Polyvagal theory can facilitate emotion management
  • Learn strategies to develop friendship skills in childhood and adolescence
  • Choose resources to improve social reasoning abilities
  • Understand issues regarding adult relationships especially vulnerability, sexuality and being a mother
  • Learn best ways for seeking and maintaining employment

About the speakers

Prof Tony Attwood PhD With a career spanning five decades, Professor Tony Attwood is considered to be one of the world’s foremost experts on Autism Spectrum Disorder. He has an Honour’s degree in Psychology from the University of Hull, a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Surrey and a PhD from the University of London. He is currently adjunct Professor at Griffith University in Queensland. Tony has written many publications on Asperger’s Syndrome. His original book, titled Asperger’s Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals was published in 1998 and has been translated into over 25 languages.

Tony operates a diagnostic and psychological support clinic two days a week for children and adults. He also spends considerable time travelling nationally and internationally to present workshops and seminars.


Dr Michelle Garnett PhD is a clinical psychologist who has specialised in autism for nearly three decades. Her peer reviewed research has informed understanding of early detection, the female profile and the importance of good mental health for autistic individuals. She has co-authored six highly regarded books on autism, five with Prof Tony Attwood. Her 2018 book with Barb Cook is a seminal work on the female presentation, Spectrum Women: Walking to the Beat of Autism. Her most recent books Having Fun with Feelings on the Autism Spectrum and Ten Steps to Reducing Your Child Anxiety on the Autism Spectrum provide guidance to parent of young children on the autism spectrum.  She regularly provides training to four Australian Universities.

Learning Objectives

 To learn how autism can be expressed in girls and women, how they may adapt to autism and strategies to enhance specific abilities.

To learn how autism can be expressed in girls and women, how they may adapt to autism and strategies to enhance specific abilities.

Who Will Benefit

  • Parents and family members
  • Autistic girls and women
  • Teachers, therapists, psychologists, paediatricians and psychiatrists

Module Breakdown

Module 1

  • The profile of abilities of autistic girls and women
  • Imitation and camouflaging
  • Interests
  • Pathways to a diagnostic assessment

Module 2

  • Question time
  • A new screening tool for girls and women
  • Self-identity
  • Low self-esteem
  • Strategies to enhance and express the sense of self
  • Empathic attunement
  • Alexithymia
  • Energy accounting

Module 3

  • Question time
  • Anxiety
  • Polyvagal theory and autism
  • Friendships and relationships
  • Psychological reactions to being different
  • Issues experienced by teenage girls
  • Resources
  • A diagnosis of autism in the adult years

Module 4

  • Question time
  • Interpersonal relationships
  • Being autistic and a mother
  • The adult female personal expression of autism
  • Employment