The Prevalence of Autism and Life with Chip

This is a very interesting article from The Economist ‘Why it’s not ‘Rain Woman” which possibly answers the question of why so many more boys are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders than girls. Of course, my readers will know that Prince has autism, but his little sister Chip, although very bright and more socially advanced, still lacks ‘EQ’ (the social/emotional equivalent of IQ, if there were such a thing). She doesn’t understand jokes and misses subtleties of behaviour. On the other hand, so do many men/boys and I perhaps would not notice, or indeed comment on it, if she was a boy. Interesting. What do you think? Have you noticed differences between your non-diagnosed children and their peers? Have you noticed your female non-diagnosed child has certain ‘autistic’ traits? Mind you, as for traits, I definitely have them – and so does Frank! Enjoying one’s own company (aka introversion) is one. On the other hand (lots of hands today, I must be an octopus), what was I saying? Um, on the other hand, Chip is a strange balance of extrovert and introvert. She loves being the centre of attention, she’s a natural performer and says she wants to be an actress when she grows up, but she also loves reading. She gobbles up books and is quite happy entertaining herself. She also does some strange things sometimes. Like the other day, when she broke wind and, instead of saying “pardon me” she said, “Shut up, Marcus!”


“Who is Marcus?” I asked, mystified. I thought it must be an imaginary friend.

She broke wind again, “That’s Marcus,” she said, grinning, “my bottom is called Marcus!”

I was rather lost for words. The other two are very polite. This one…