Professors Chris Sharpley and Vicki Bitsika recently delivered an invited keynote address on their research into sex differences in autism to a conference held by the Centre for Applied Autism Research at the University of Bath, England (pictured above are the ancient Roman baths after which the city is named). The conference was attended by staff and students from several universities, with speakers representing the burgeoning field of how males and females with autism may differ. Chris and Vicki also gave a second paper on their work about parents’ anxiety in coping with a child with autism.

Professor Sharpley delivering his keynote address

“This work is a central aspect of our research at the BBRG, into the fairly overlooked issue of how autism looks in females”, said Prof Bitsika. “It’s an important issue because the commonly-quoted prevalence figures of 4 to 1 males to females may be confounded by the finding that girls manage to ‘camouflage’ their autistic behaviour among their peers”,  she said. “We have an ongoing research programme into girls with autism, and are recruiting Australian girls into our cohort”.