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Autism and Turner Syndrome How We can Learn from a UK Study

It's Sunday which means the weekend is over, and we know whose March Madness Brackets made it all way to the Championship Game. I had Iowa, so my bracket busted early. We move on to April and the start of the baseball season and American's pastime. As we move on to April, it also means the start of Autism Awareness Month, and April 2nd was World Autism Awareness Day; now, you might be asking what this has to you with Turner Syndrome.

I was surprised to learn there is more than I had ever thought. As this month approached, I started researching as I have several friends who have loved ones on the Autism spectrum. I wanted to learn more about autism and how I can be more compassionate and educated on this challenging disorder. As I was researching autism, I came across a few articles on the connection between Turner Syndrome and Autism. I was shocked to learn this and thought of how many may not realize this and decided to focus this week's blog on the connection between Autism and Turner Syndrome.


I will focus on a shocking study out of the United Kingdom. The study consisted of 98 girls with Turner Syndrome from 4 to 25 and was administered online to the caregivers. The results were as follows

21% of the girls with Turner Syndrome met the criteria for diagnosis of ASD on the standardized test side. The results were 14 % were in the normal range, 24% were in the mild range, 49% were in the moderate range 13% were in the severe range. What the results mean is that 86% of those tested experience difficulties with social interactions that impact their daily lives, and that is substantially higher than the national (UK) rate of 0.3 %

It was interesting because girls with TS often have trouble with social interaction, and making friends is

more complicated. I personally never experienced this, so when seeing the results, I concluded that further testing is needed in the United States to see the connection between Turner Syndrome and Autism. It also made it more apparent that we need to provide caregivers and educators the resources to help be aware of the systems and have the tools to help and support those impacted with ASD and Turner Syndrome.

Autism comes in many forms, just like Turner Syndrome, and every case impacts the individual differently, just like Turner Syndrome. It is more common than Turner Syndrome and is more known, but it is much more challenging to diagnose as there is no medical test like blood tests. Doctors have to look at development history to make a diagnosis. That is even harder in girls as ASD is more widely diagnosed in boys, and the signs are also different. So there is so much more needed in researching ASD and Turner Syndrome.

I have worked with several children on the Autism spectrum, and they are the very bright, compassionate, and loving children I have ever known. They see the world differently. Sadly, in a world that is all too cruel and bullying is more common in schools, especially on social media, we need to be more compassionate and try to understand each other and accept and even celebrate our differences. If we were to do that, the world would be a much safer place for us to share our journeys and, by doing so, find a deeper understanding and help others.

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