ONLINE COURSE: Masterclass - Diagnosis with Autistic Girls & Women



  • 5 hours 54 mins
  • 30 days to complete course (from date of purchase) – Extend anytime
  • Downloadable PDFs
  • Certificate of completion
  • Suitable for professionals


Participants will learn how to conduct a diagnostic assessment for a girl or woman to determine whether they have autism, including measurement of camouflaging, comorbidity, differential diagnosis, and use of and adaptations to conventional psychometric assessment. Participants will learn the challenges that autistic girls and women face in their daily lives and how autism can affect their friendships, relationships, sense of self, emotion regulation and career. Information will be provided on support and therapy to develop a positive sense of self, enhance strategies for self-advocacy, executive functioning, emotion understanding and regulation, to improve friendship and relationship abilities from early childhood to the adult years, and how aspects of autism can contribute to a successful career. Adaptations to conventional therapy will be explained to accommodate the profile of abilities and experiences of autistic girls and women in the treatment of common clinical presentations including anxiety and depression, eating disorders, and gender dysphoria.

What will I be able to do as a result of attending the course?

The participant will know how to conduct a diagnostic assessment with a girl or woman to determine the presence or absence of autism using a range of instruments and apply that information for greater understanding and support at home, school and work.

Who will benefit?

Professionals who see autistic children, adolescents, and adults as part of their work, including:

  • Psychologists and psychiatrists, GPs, Employment agencies, Social workers and counsellors, School teachers and teacher assistants, Occupational therapists, Speech pathologists, Developmental educators, Nurse Practitioners and Mental Health Nurses, Counsellors, Staff in clinics for mental health problems, eating disorders, gender identity and personality disorders


Course Summary

As a result of attending this intensive one-day Masterclass, the participant will know what to include within a diagnostic assessment with a girl or woman to determine the presence or absence of autism using a range of instruments and apply that information for greater understanding and support at home, school and work. NB: The course is not a credential to commence as a diagnostician of autism. The course adds to discipline-specific knowledge for professionals already conducting diagnostic assessments within their practice or learning how to do this as part of their continuing professional development. In addition, teachers and community members have found this course enormously helpful to assist them to increase their understanding of the expression of autism in girls and women.

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 Honours 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 an 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 parents of young children on the autism spectrum.  She regularly provides training to four Australian Universities.


Barb Cook is a registered Developmental Educator (DE), Deputy Chair of the Developmental Educators Australia Incorporated (DEAI), and an Autism and Neurodiversity Employment Consultant and Life Coach for neurodivergent adults (ADHD, autism and dyslexia). Barb holds a Master of Autism (education) degree with focus on employment from the University of Wollongong, where she is also a researcher and co-project lead in the area of self-determination and self-advocacy for adults on the autism spectrum.

Barb has extensive experience in working with people on the autism spectrum, ADHD and dyslexia, especially with adults in creating pathways in attaining life goals in the areas of self-determination and self-advocacy, education, employment, health and interpersonal relationships.

Barb is Director and Founder of NeuroEmploy Pty Ltd, a company providing a variety of neurodiversity specific educational and training programs for neurodivergent individuals, workplace staff, management and businesses. Barb is founder of Spectrum Women Magazine and editor and co-author of the internationally acclaimed book, Spectrum Women: Walking to the Beat of Autism.

Barb is a prolific writer on neurodivergence and employment and is published in academic research.Barb identifies as neurodivergent, being diagnosed mid-life with autism, ADHD and dyslexia in 2009, and promotes a strength-based and person-centred approach in her life and work.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand why autistic girls and women are underdiagnosed.
  • Recognise camouflaging and compensation adaptation mechanisms.
  • Recognise the ways the profile of abilities for girls may be different to autistic boys at different stages of development.
  • Recognise and understand the different pathways to diagnosis in autistic girls and women.
  • Know how to design and conduct a diagnostic assessment for a girl or woman.
  • Know recommended screening and diagnostic instruments for autism in girls and women and additional assessment procedures based on extensive diagnostic experience.
  • Utilise two new screening tools designed to identify the characteristics of ASD level 1 in girls and women.
  • Know how to identify and assess co-morbid conditions and consider differential and additional diagnoses.
  • To use the diagnostic information to plan support and therapy at home, school, and work.
  • How to share the diagnostic assessment results with the person and family.

Prior Learning Needed

Assumes knowledge and skill in professional clinical assessment techniques, the principles of psychometrics, and ethical and professional issues.