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Cold Warriors: History has rarely seemed as compelling. The Irrational Ape: how flawed logic puts the world in danger. After her death, however, she was chiefly remembered only as the wife of Percy Bysshe Shelley and as the author of Frankenstein. It was not until , when Emily Sunstein published her prizewinning biography Mary Shelley: Romance and Reality, that a full-length scholarly biography analyzing all of Shelley's letters, journals, and works within their historical context was published.
The well-meaning attempts of Mary Shelley's son and daughter-in-law to "Victorianise" her memory through the censoring of letters and biographical material contributed to a perception of Mary Shelley as a more conventional, less reformist figure than her works suggest.
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Her own timid omissions from Percy Shelley's works and her quiet avoidance of public controversy in the later years of her life added to this impression. The eclipse of Mary Shelley's reputation as a novelist and biographer meant that, until the last thirty years, most of her works remained out of print, obstructing a larger view of her achievement. She was seen as a one-novel author, if that.
In recent decades, however, the republication of almost all her writings has stimulated a new recognition of its value. Her voracious reading habits and intensive study, revealed in her journals and letters and reflected in her works, is now better appreciated. Shelley's recognition of herself as an author has also been recognized; after Percy's death, she wrote about her authorial ambitions: "I think that I can maintain myself, and there is something inspiriting in the idea".
Scholars now consider Mary Shelley to be a major Romantic figure, significant for her literary achievement and her political voice as a woman and a liberal. And if they are referred for assessment, clinicians may count out an ASD diagnosis. Indeed, a growing body of research suggests that, at least among those without intellectual impairment, females with ASD differ from the classic presentation outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition DSM Compared with boys, these girls:. Have less apparent restrictive interests and repetitive behaviors Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders , and International Meeting for Autism Research.
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Show higher social motivation and greater capacity for friendship Molecular Autism , and Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. And because ASD is thought of occurring only in boys, girls may be overlooked or misdiagnosed with other conditions. And, experts observe, because these girls are typically more socially motivated than boys, they may try harder to fit in, often hiding the very behaviors that could help in diagnosis.
As a result, many girls may be diagnosed with other conditions, such as anxiety disorders, eating disorders or ADHD. Some are never diagnosed.
Others are diagnosed as teenagers or adults. Along the way, their academic lives, relationships and career paths can be affected. They may be misdiagnosed with other conditions, put on inappropriate medication and even institutionalized. Most are bullied, and some fall victim to abusive relationships. They struggle with anxiety, self-harming behavior and eating disorders. In some extreme cases, they commit suicide.
The biases that keep girls from being diagnosed may be built into the very diagnostic instruments themselves.
Clinicians are beginning to understand this difference, says Nicole Kreiser, assistant professor and clinical psychologist at Eastern Virginia Medical School. She says that, unlike the unusual obsessions of boys with ASD, girls often have more age-appropriate interests, such as dolls, horses or princesses.
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Or they set up the same theme with the dolls every time, and the dolls say the same things every time. Also, Kreiser notes, intensity and resistance to change may be obvious.
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Another factor leading to lower ASD diagnosis rates in girls could be that they mask their own less socially desirable behaviors, some posit. And girls with ASD tend not to disregard these social pressures; instead, they care about them. For example, a study of playground behavior published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry found that while boys with ASD are often outright rejected by their peers, girls are neither rejected nor accepted. So on the surface, it might look as if a girl with ASD is playing with other girls on the playground. A study of adults with ASD found that most of them—whether female, male or nonbinary—said they camouflaged their behavior in social situations.
To try to fit in, girls may choose a socially successful girl and mimic her behavior, as well as her dress and hairstyle.