As of April 1 2023, all current Medicaid healthcare plan members will need to reverify eligibility for their insurance coverage. We encourage all of our clients to learn more here to ensure their health insurance is not interrupted.

We’re Hiring! View Our Open Positions

Are you a current client? Contact your Clinic

Recognizing Signs of Autism in Teens

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is often first diagnosed in young children but that can also go undetected until later in life. This means that many adolescents and teens may be on the autism spectrum but are not yet diagnosed or receiving appropriate support and services. Knowing the signs of autism in teens can help you better support a teen in your life through early detection and intervention.

Northeast Health Services offers autism spectrum disorder services for children, teens, and adults in our locations across Massachusetts. While these services include diagnosis, we mainly provide individualized treatment plans after diagnosis and ongoing support for individuals with ASD and their families. While autism spectrum disorder is a lifelong condition, early intervention can significantly improve outcomes and help individuals develop essential skills to lead fulfilling lives.

Call 508.794.8711 today if you’re ready to get started.

Why Autism Might Go Undiagnosed in Teens

One reason why autism may go undiagnosed in teens is because the signs and symptoms of ASD can be different in adolescence compared to early childhood. For example, while young children with autism may struggle with social interactions and communication, teens on the spectrum may have more subtle difficulties with these skills that are often mistaken for shyness or introversion.

Another reason why autism may be missed in teens is because of a lack of awareness and understanding surrounding the disorder. In the past, autism was primarily diagnosed in young boys, leading to a misconception that it only affects males. This has resulted in many girls and women on the spectrum going undiagnosed or misdiagnosed with other conditions.

The Signs of Autism in Teens

Some common signs of autism in teens include:

  • Difficulty with social interactions and making friends
  • Trouble understanding and expressing emotions
  • Sensory sensitivities, such as being bothered by loud noises or certain textures
  • Rigid thinking patterns and difficulty adapting to change
  • Special interests or obsessions
  • Communication difficulties, such as taking things literally or struggling with nonverbal cues
  • Difficulty with executive functioning skills, such as organizing and planning

It’s important to note that every individual with autism is unique and may display different signs and symptoms. If you think a teen in your life may be on the autism spectrum, it’s best to seek professional help for an accurate diagnosis.

Autism in Adolescent Girls

While boys are diagnosed with autism at a higher rate than girls, there is research to suggest that this gender disparity may be due to underdiagnosis or misdiagnosis of girls on the spectrum. This is because the signs and symptoms of autism can present differently in girls, and they may be better at camouflaging their difficulties.

Some common signs of autism in adolescent girls include:

  • Difficulty with social interactions and understanding nonverbal cues
  • Increased anxiety and perfectionism
  • Strong interests in specific topics or activities
  • Sensory sensitivities that may go unnoticed due to social masking

Early intervention for autism is crucial for all individuals, regardless of gender. If you suspect that a teenage girl in your life may be on the autism spectrum, it’s essential to seek professional help for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate support services.

Contact Northeast Health Services for Autism Spectrum Disorder Services

Northeast Health Services is dedicated to providing comprehensive and compassionate care for individuals with autism spectrum disorder. Whether you are seeking a diagnosis for your teen or ongoing support and services, our team of professionals is here to help.

If you’re ready to take the next step in your mental health journey, click here to reach out to our team of empathetic mental health care experts. For existing clients, please click here and find your office location to contact your office directly.