The Female Autism Network of the Netherlands (FANN)

By Dr Els Blijd-Hoogewys and Marleen Bezemer


The FANN is a Dutch interdisciplinary network for professionals (psychologists, psychiatrists, researchers, etc.) who are committed to improve the diagnostic and treatment of females of all ages with the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), through a variety of instruments, tools and research.


The different manifestation of ASD in females is not reflected in the current diagnostic DSM-criteria as it lacks concrete criteria to diagnose these females with ASD. The FANN network is developing and implementing scientifically based knowledge through a variety of instruments, tools and research to fill in that gap regarding women with ASD.

Main deliverables

The ‘FANN app’ to provide information on social mapping of different organisations

The Book 'Lifehacks for girls with autism’ providing information, tips and sometimes simple exercises for all kind of themes that girls can encounter in their (daily) life

(Scientifical) Research and surveys on ASD in women related topics

Why necessary in society?

ASD in women is not or poorly recognised, as women often do not seem to match with usual symptoms that accompany ASD. However, this condition is not less severe for women. It just means women are usually better at assimilating and hiding these symptoms. The stress and fatigue that are caused by the effort to hide their condition, are therefore misdiagnosed as depression or borderline comportment. According to online research done by the FANN, there are only two articles worldwide that touch upon the specific issue of women with ASD and burn-outs. To know more about FANN, please visit:

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Standards of Care is a roadmap of quality service outlining the standards of care in the field of Gynaecology and Obstetrics & Neonatal Care covering 25 key clinical areas of clinical conditions which affect women throughout their lives.

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