Women with autism are so frequently misdiagnosed or dismissed, they're often described as invisible.
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I've been wondering if I'm on the spectrum but I don't know if I want to go through the trouble of trying to get diagnosed since I've been living fine like this my whole life. I have health issues so I have enough doctors poking at my body, I don't need them poking at my mind too.
#shecantbeautistic when I was 11 years old I was diagnosed with high functioning autism ( or Aspergers )
I think it’s ridiculous that for years I had to fell like a lab Rat and a misfit for my entire childhood and adolescents due to minsdiagnosises
Also the lack of funding to treat it
I suspect I have un-diagnosed Autism. I am almost done with highschool and have suffered with eating disorders, anxiety, and depression for my entire life. When I tried to bring it up with doctors, they dismissed it as hormones from puberty. Recently I have been really pushing and my mom has been supporting me, and with her help we went to a female doctor who is qualified to check me out and I will be getting my diagnosis soon. I just wanted to say that I agree with everything you're saying and keep up the good work!
i was too smart to have autism, then I was too well functioning to get help for it, and now im in bed depressed anxious and have no self-care and wanna die. I now finally have a small bus come pick me up to bring me to school (i missed almost half the school year) and have 2 supported study halls (teacher actually helps you and not just sit at their desk). im 17, been this way since kindergarten and maybe even preschool (but i guess in reality its been there my whole life lol)
and i oh yeah, turns out my test checking me autism was lower than my sat scores sooo...might not have gotten the help i needed if i didn't fail it on a very bad day I took the test lol
Girls/women have been underdiagnosed because WE are better at masking symptoms. The End.
Stop bating people into your feminist propaganda.
You should try to hide your mandible bone better- it gives you away.
My son has HFA, and we have a lot of similar behaviours, like sensory issues, dislike changes, missing social cues. Anyway, it made me wonder if Im actually on the spectrum or not? Especially after my parents told me I was just like my son in a lot of ways, I was a very difficult, Unflexible child. But people don’t even considering that I might be on the spectrum, because my symptoms are so mild now. I already know I have OCD, ADD though, but again I like being around people from time to time and enjoy social life with my type of people. When I’m with my friends I can’t stop talking, sometimes I talk too much.....so I don’t know, can you be a outgoing person but also have ASD???
I got diagnosed TWICE and both docs said I am high on the AS scale. Looking at me though, you wouldn't even think it. Growing up, I was very antisocial and was facinated with the ocean.
My mother has had two kids with autism - my brother being one of them.
did ur mom get this info from a trained professional? coz otherwise its just bullshit. i mean considering how similar the criteria(or at least the social behaviour) with schodzoid pd is to autism, it should really be done by a professional.
Yes I’m autistic female but my autism is a high level cause I love to read and when I was in school I was so far head in my math book my teacher was not liking that but I got everything right so my teacher understand she told me if I go head if my math book you can help some of the kids to understand there math so I took the option to help anyone plus I was a fast learn and very understand other people feelings I listen to them I love learning new things every day and night I’m a female with autistic Keep being amazing never give up enjoy life being your true self give everyone love cause we all need love ❤️
I was diagnosed as an infant as I couldn't talk until age 4 (speech therapy is a blessing)
at secondary school though, I struggled with understanding the exam questions. (I needed them reworded) so they treated me like I was dyslexic and assigned me a reader??? I can read just fine and what was worse is that the reader LOVED to talk to me like I was a fucking infant.
I also had my "friends" constantly argue with me when I tried to explain my autism. calling my meltdowns "anger issues" and saying I act "normal"
on a brighter note, did you know that uwe do exam papers specifically for those with autism/aspergers?? MAKING THE QUESTIONS MORE LITERAL?
funny how I could only get support in uni smh
I am that invisible, ninja autistic/aspie woman. I'm 47 and never knew why I was the way I was until it all fell into place 3 months ago. I was always labelled as depressed, anxious, blah blah blah. I gave up trying to get help. A lot of us end up in a real mess, growing up in a world that doesn't understand us, and we don't understand, yet are expected to assimilate into. A recipe for disaster. Thanks for the great video.
Thank you for this video. I was one of these overlooked girls. I was only diagnosed at the age of 27 because I've been feeling that something was "off" and for many years I thought it might be because that I'm autistic. It turned out I'm a high-functional autistic individual. People would never guess since I put a lot if effort into being normal (act, talk and do as people expect) and I've been generally successful in life.
Thank you so much for featuring a video on autism for women!!!! I am a 27 year old woman with Autism and I was diagnosed THIS YEAR. I never felt like I truly fit in. No matter the situation, I had always felt I was pretending. I personally HATE lying, so I hated myself. When I realized women showed different symptoms, turns out I actually do fit the standard for female autism). I was diagnosed with mood disorders before Autism(because women with autism hide their autism, it comes out in explosive mood swings). As a child I distinctly remember realizing I had to pretend to be normal... It was like someone had forgotten to show me the life manual, so I mimicked behavior instead. Now that I've been diagnosed, my relationships have become so much easier! Now there is a way to communicate when I'm not comfortable! #shecantbeautistic
Pretty sure I got some sort of HFA, been diagnosed with so many things by now, and the more I read about and hear from women who have aspergers/HFA the more I realize it's me and the more I see those events throughout my life...now I just have to convince my new doctor who who gave me yet another diagnosis.
During my last appointment with my therapist, I brought up that my friend thought I was on the spectrum. He told me it was probably just my social anxiety and that, if I had it, I would be very high-functioning. So for the past few days I've been doing some research, along with looking at the stories of other people, and convinced that my therapist may have been incorrect, thoughts?
I grew up feeling and experiencing all of the symptoms but have yet to seek a diagnosis because I'm worried they won't believe me. I also appreciate the first one about PTSD because I've had a traumatic childhood by way of abusive parenting, and I myself thought that my aspie symptoms were part of my PTSD until I learned more about it. I had aspie symptoms before the PTSD, but always just thought that was me being "dumb" or having anxiety. Plus toe-walking lol.
I was diagnosed w/ ptsd, social anxiety disorder and depression at 16 yrs old, didn't speak until I was 2 an a half, (How did that go un-noticed?) I cannot concentrate, my thoughts and speech tend to come out as a burst, I have no filter and upset people a lot, multiple conversations, over load of noises drives me to the point of tears different textures make me uncomfortable, and feel incredibly sick (some metals, submerging my feet in water..) Like this is textbook at this point
But this has all been put down to me being 'strange' and whenever I expressed maybe I am on the spectrum, my parents would disagree, my brother however, diagnosed with ASD at age 12, no problems there. Weird.
I self-diagnosed at the age of 66! I always thought I was just shy. What brought me to research Aspbergers is the fact that I am oversensitive to sounds, lights, and tastes. One of my friends sarcastically asked me how I could possibly survive, which hurt me to the core. Then I found out this can be a symptom of Aspbergers. I was so glad to discover why I am what I am.
My younger sister was diagnosed with autism at the age of 2. I think she was diagnosed so early because my mother kept nagging the doctors saying there was something wrong with her, when they finally checked her seriously she turned out to be severely autistic so it would've been hard to pass it off as my sister just being a girl.
And while I'm not denying girls with autism are not taken as seriously when being diagnosed, I want to point out it can happen to boys too. My boyfriend was diagnosed with Asperger's at 15 even though well before that point there was clearly something not quite right. And because he was diagnosed late and it's not severe he doesn't get the support he desperately needs.
Personally overall I feel that there's still not enough research on autism, so many people get misdiagnosed and when they do get diagnosed there's a good chance they don't even get the help they need just because the can barely scrape by school academically. Both my boyfriend and younger sister have terrible social skills, they essentially have no friends and don't do all that well in school because they can't focus in a mainstream school without support.
This is all based on my own experiences. Maybe in other cases what happened after diagnosis was completely different, but from where I'm from the government couldn't really care less and I don't think the doctors are very educated on autism.
This was a great video, thank you. I'm chiming in about your last topic of consideration, the one of gender identity and being on the spectrum. I recently only found out that I am an Aspie, just a few months ago, so I've lived 40 years not knowing I'm autistic. When I did find out about being on the spectrum, and then later found out how most girls with autism are able to stealth and pass as 'normal' by mimicking and copying what girls see as appropriate social behaviors (basically, being a chameleon) and that's how I got undiagnosed for so many years... it was pretty surreal. I'm a transgender woman and I meet all the traits of most girls who are autistic, so despite being assigned male at birth, in a way finding out I'm autistic further confirmed that I'm just another girl, albeit a girl with different neurological brain functions.
I believe I'm autistic, because it explains so much about my life, especially when I was a kid and a teenager. I've been thinking about getting a formal diagnosis for a few years now, but all of these horror stories about people being diagnosed with things that they don't have, like bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, anxiety disorder, etc. have made me feel like getting a diagnosis isn't worth it, because I'll probably just be misdiagnosed, and the doctor won't listen to me when I tell them I don't have any of those disorders. (I have looked at the diagnostic criteria, and I know for a fact I don't have BPD or bipolar disorder. I do have anxiety, but that's pretty common in people with autism. It's also common in people who have been abused as a child, like I was).
hmm, interesting. i used to think i was autistic, and now i'm starting to think that again.
but this one girl tried to say i was autistic because i'm quiet and didn't want to high-five someone while we were eating and that's the main reason why i've been thinking about this more often. like, i'm pretty sure i have social anxiety, and a lot of times when i feel uncomfortable in a situation i begin to tear up. i also get nervous when i need to talk to people, and also mimic/follow what i like. ie. if someone does or says something funny that'll be my new thing. i also tend to shut down in high energy places like parties. i also get annoyed pretty easily.
even though i like being by myself though, i still like to be around other people sometimes. i love nature, but also cities. i'm fascinated by everything, and hate doing the same thing for more than a year. i like to turn up and fuck shit up every once in a while
frankly, i think asperger's shouldn't be a thing because it just puts people in a box and makes them feel like they're being treated differently. when i was in preschool i was very sensitive to light and sound, and that's because i did not live on this planet in my past life. this sounds ridiculous, but i believe this is one of the main reasons why people are diagnosed with aspergers: because they weren't a human in their past life. this explains sensitivity, talent in a specific interest, and social awkwardness/anxiety.
I'm Autistic. Thanks for this video. Those of you saying Aspergers is not Autism on the grounds of being non-verbal or low IQ please do your research. One does not have to be non-verbal or low IQ to be Autistic.
Love and completely agree with this! For me, I was always told I have too much anxiety. The doctors assumed that I had to be autistic just to have all of the anxiety that I had by the age of 4 (especially in regards to socialization). I was diagnosed as PDD-NOS because I failed their masculine based autism test. I did not receive therapy for autism, but I went through a lot of therapy focusing on my anxiety as well as therapies to improve my motor skills. I was only really ever told I was autistic by the time I was in high school. I understood basic social skills, so the classes I was placed in weren't helpful (my teacher literally told me I shouldn't be in there because I understood everything and initiated social contact with others in the class); I was the only girl in the class at the time. I graduated from a university with 2 degrees and honors, which is not expected for autistic people. I did not "outgrow" my autism, however. I was a victim of rape a couple of years ago. I did a lot of research for my psychology degree, and I found that autistic women are sexually victimized at much higher rates than our neurotypical counterparts. I would love if you could make a video talking about this epidemic.
I thought I have maybe bc not wanted talk feel is great if I am alone in class room can't listen nose or they talk each other and can't look the ayes*....
I have 2 friends one has ADHD and another has thought Aspie?
It's familiar stuff to me. And I like your presenting style.
NAS is a UK organisation, if anybody wanted to know. Not all women have a vagina... but agree to disagree with me or leave it there as not much else useful for us to say rather than let's mess the comments section up, because you were speaking in informally coded/shorthand ways about technically mediated prejudices of clinicians, and with some jocularity, anyway. Some doctors have prejudices about all kinds of things, and sometimes for "good"/historical, unchosen reasons; ...and some don't, right!
Nicky Clark didn't respond to me when I asked about her disability discrimination petition, copy/pasting the relevant sections of current hate crime legislation. :-( I wasn't on the warpath.
I get taunted by my family for being autistic i'm sick of having this persona of that were crazy, and we can't do anything for ourselfs
i see news stories about autistic people and there parents being like "Yeah by autistic child is a monster" i'm sick of having tests done on me for people to "check if where autistic." IM SICK OF BEING
TREAT LIKE A LAB RAT AND AND ANIMAL. I know your reading this , and your probably like yeah shea's crazy XD, but that is how i feel deep down and it sucks i can't really tell anyone
My first real exposure to Asperger's was through a character on Girl Meets World (Smackle) who is both female and not white which I find very cool! I always kinda related to her and realized today that I am probably on the spectrum.
I'm 24 years old transfeminine, queer and genderfluid, autistic with historical extreme depression and anxiety, and I've got CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.) The last 10 years of my life, as these things have been added to my list of oddities, has been doctors saying all but one of these was caused by the last. First, I wasn't autistic, I was just raised poorly (single mother working full time), then I wasn't trans, I was just confused because I was autistic, then I wasn't fluid, I just didn't know what I wanted except for attention, then I didn't have CFS, I was just depressed. Jen Brea has a great TED talk about CFS and misconceptions and flaws in the diagnostic system: http://www.npr.org/2017/02/10/514122487/what-happens-when-you-have-a-disease-doctors-can-t-diagnose
Great video.... I have Aspergers Autism. I am not offended to be covered by the Autism label. ASC is spectrum, Aspergers part of spectrum I am affected with. I have had a life of grave difficulty. Without support and understanding, I wither. I have a chirpy happy Aspie inside that can't get out.... I am NOW 47. What do you do when you get to 47 and all that can go wrong has....... and not one person has ever been there for you forever? So the self advocating becomes hell and you find yourself in court due to the utter frustration and the impact it has on your mental health. Oh dear life.... I hope more people like you can get the message across that there are adults living with Autism that are completely screwed.
As for your question on gender identity: autistic people are actually substantially more likely to be trans than the general population. Especially non-binary and genderfluid. To the point that lists of autistic traits often include things like "gender non-conforming" "doesn't feel wholly male or female" etc.
Which kinda adds credence to the whole "gender is a social construct" thing because the people who struggle with social norms are substantially more likely to be trans.
Wasn't diagnosed until 23 (nearly 24) after a year of trying to get assessed after figuring out that I'm autistic myself. Most of the doctors I talked to didn't believe I had it, and most of the PEOPLE I talked to didn't understand why I wanted to get the diagnosis anyway!! Uh, maybe it's because I'm sick of being misdiagnosed and having psychiatrists disagree with each other about what I have - and often get befuddled by me? Maybe because it's better to have accurate diagnoses???
Full list of things I've been diagnosed with at one point or another:
Depression, social anxiety disorder, OCD, ADHD, Bipolar, GAD, BPD, and PTSD.
What I actually have: autism, PTSD, social anxiety disorder, and depression. At the time of the diagnosis however I had 5 mental illnesses to my name. All but one of them were misdiagnoses. (They were ADHD, bipolar, GAD, BPD, and PTSD.) Although the bipolar was under a great deal of debate. Also the SAD was thrown out in favour of the GAD, and the OCD was thrown out because apparently insomnia can cause compulsive behaviours???? Oh yea and the depression was replaced by the bipolar.
I've never been diagnosed with autism because I already have anxiety and depression so they stopped looking for other things, but I keep having those Wait What moments when people with a diagnosis describe things they do and I'm like wait... that's not normal?
Even though I'm verbally autistic-people would mistaken me as neurotypical person. All because I can talk is because I had a lot of speech therapies in my early childhood and I was diagnosed at 2 years old and never knew how to communicate with people since my 2nd to 5th year. Even though I'm sensitive to certain foods some people think I have an eating disorder/or going into a starvation diet (which I'm not-it's just that I have a sensory issue on certain foods). And yeah, sometimes I am mistakened as suffering from anti-depression which I'm not. I don't use too many facial expressions to communicate with my emotions-even though I have emotions. I can still be happy and calm even though I don't look like it.
I was only formally diagnosed as having High Level Autism in my 30's mainly because my mum didn't me to have a LABEL. Sometimes I feel that I could been helped more at school if I had formally diagnosed earlier.
When I was a girl, I had a teacher who thought I might be autistic. But my brother had behavioral issues and the school didn't want to support two children, so they only supported the testing and support of my brother who had what would be seen as ADHD these days. So I made my way through school as best I could and still struggle as an adult to do some basic tasks. However I am very creative and very emotionally rational. I think it makes me a better parent if not a better cook. So long as I don't stretch myself too much then I manage well. I don't think I'll ever try to be tested in adulthood, but it is nice to hear similar experiences from other women. Helps me feel less frecky :)
I frequently read articles about differences between how men and women process information and find myself going "Hey! My brain works more like a woman's!"
A) Do I ask my psychiatrist to look at the female autism symptoms when evaluating me?
B) Why do studies like this only cover the gender binary without any thought to queer people?
I (male) was diagnosed with Asperger's in my 50s. People my age were simply not diagnosed with Asperger's growing up (it didn't exist back then), but sometimes with anxiety or depression or being too withdrawn, etc. We were left to "sink or swim" and make our own way in the world, or struggle with burnout. I imagine this is similar to what many women continue to experience even now - they know they are "different" but no one can put a name on it. Some males respond similarly to many females - hiding their behaviours, "faking normal", observing and copying. I read a few books on psychology as a teenager, and also began a social work degree ... until I realised how poor I was at social interaction. I always thought that some day I would just "get it" - I would understand and master that social secret that everyone else seemed to know, but I didn't. That has never happened. Instead I finally got diagnosed and now understand why I don't get it. And now I work voluntarily with some young people on the spectrum - finally my psychology and social work interest has borne fruit. I have found the people I do understand.
Great video. You avoided all the neurotypical cliches about the autism spectrum. Loved your pun about "ovary-acting" (overreacting). As a person with GAD (I think you said) you understand what it is like to experience life differently to the majority of people out there.
Considering that the "men are afraid women will laugh at them; women are afraid men will kill them" thing is... well a thing, yeah, autistic girls are going to be better at masking their symptoms, especially the "bad at social anything" symptoms. When the repercussions of failure include anything from "public mockery" to "violent death" you learn to read the room real fucking fast.
Good info. I can't believe doctors would think females can't be autistic. Sure our bodies are hormonal in a different way than males, but our DNA is basically the same. I'm terrible at science, but the idiocy of doctors can be baffling.
Honestly, I am an Autistic myself. And anti-social behavior is very common in all Autistic people, male or female. Often, we function just like Artificial Intelligence, following written rules, theories, and laws as assigned, just like programming a computer. But once we know how to properly act upon those rules, we can use them to amazing levels, all while keeping in proper procedure and expectations. We can learn to act on everything possible, then the impossible. An Autistic can also do the unthinkable, but often that is illegal or unethical.
In my experience the way we treat girl children SEVERELY effect how female autistics get treated. There's INTENSE pressure and bullying of young autistic women to act "like girls". It forces many women to adapt in painful ways, which mask who we are, or face society's immense hatred of nonconforming women.
Almost all the girls I know, ESPECIALLY the late diagnosed ones, report huge bullying from family - often out of fear of the future for these girls - to force gender typical behaviour. This often leads to developing extremely harmful masking techniques that fuck us over for life but make us look normal enough for it to stop.
I think this is a problem with all doctors. They have this notion that women just want attention, but they are much more likely to get auto immune diseases, which are hard to diagnose (they don't know why)
This is a rather important subject to me and I'd like to add a little to expound on what Christen has said. I'm a neuroscientist with two family members (both male) who are diagnosed as autistic, and possibly a third (female) member who has yet to be diagnosed. Honestly according to the research we have no idea what causes autism, although we know for a fact that vaccinations play no statistical part in it what-so-ever. The only thing we really know for certain is that there seems to be a high correlation between testosterone levels in a developing brain and autism (Roughly four times higher concentrations than in a normal brain). This could be the reason why women and girls with autism have higher tendencies for aggression, low impulse control and melt downs. Although we have no idea if it's a causal effect or if it's the result of something else. That's also why for a long time it was considered a strictly male disorder because male brains are either more susceptible to testosterone or male brains run higher level of testosterone naturally and its easier for that process to get unbalanced). Also the critical stages where things are breaking down is between the ages of two and three. Pretty difficult to catch a communication disorder when the person can barely talk as it is. It's an older video but a good look at the male side can be found here.
Thank you for this.
Fun facts for you, from a female ASD who's "thing" is human behavior/neuroscience...my father, his brother (undiagnosed ASD's) & I have exceptionally high levels of testosterone, as does my undiagnosed female cousin on my mother's side.
My mentor for 11 years was a neuropsych specializing in neurofeedback, which did wonders for my situation by improving my neuroplasticity. Have a great day.
I have CPTSD, but I've often noticed how I share so many symptoms with my nephew who is autistic. My therapist believes my issues step from the traumas of childhood and explain my poor coping methods and skills. It's interesting that, symptomatically speaking, there are layers of crossover.
I was diagnosed with PDD-NOS when I was three, which, under the DSM-V is no longer a valid diagnosis. PDD-NOS was a diagnosis given to me because I had a lot of autistic traits, but there seemed to be a few "differences", and also "girls can't have autism". But under the DSM-V that diagnosis was one of the many merged into "Autism Spectrum Disorder" because the "differences" between it and "classic autism" were so minuscule. Granted, I'm not a girl, but I was, and still am, perceived as female.
Im currently seeking a diagnosis for aspergers and im scared to tell the doctor about that mentally abusive relationship I was in from 2007 to 2012 because if they come to the conclusion that I have PTSD, im sure they will make that my only diagnosis and rule out autism. But im so sure that im an aspie, it explains my entire life's hardships
I am a eighteen year old women with autism I was originally diagnosed with aspergers as well I have two brother with autism my father has autism some cousins have autism and so on so mine is clearly genetic. Out of my brothers I am the least severe. Even though I know other girls/ women with autism I will agree that it is often ignored that we have it now aspergers recently has been taken off as a diagnosis and blended in with autism so aspergers as a diagnosis no longer exists though the symptoms still do so autism since aspergers was abolished the diagnostics had to be changed as well I don't know the specifics but I know that you can no longer get diagnosed with aspergers. Me being female even though no one has said specifically I know that it took long for be to be diagnosed because I am female and high functioning
I only recently began to suspect I may have Asperger syndrome, I'd always thought maybe I was just bipolar and over dramatic. But as I've done my research I've passed it along to my husband (for an outsider's POV) and he told me "At first I didn't think there was any possible way but this is exactly you." But also up until recent I thought my sensory issues were normal and everyone wanted to curl up into a ball and scream because they could hear and see too much at once. I'm afraid to go to a doctor because I don't know what to start with and I don't want to be told I'm just hormonal because I know differently.
This has driven me nuts for so long. I was shuffled around from therapist to therapist for years before one finally realized I had Asperger's, and that person didnt really even know how to help me. It's one of my biggest goals in life now, as someone working in media, to create autistic female characters and POC autistic characters so kids growing up after me have positive role models to look up to, and we are no longer invisible in the public conciousness.
This was really interesting! It's basically the same with ADHD. Men often become aggressive towards others while women take it out on themselves, resulting in eating disorders, depression and other misdiagnosis. But since diagnosing has been based on men, women get either misdiagnosed, or not diagnosed at all.
I have autism and wasnt diagnosed till I was 16. when I turned 18 I had to get a new psychiatrist and he didn't believe in autism in women... even though I had a diagnosis.
Good thing my MIL works in the healthcare system and can help me get a new one
since my son was diagnosed with autism a year ago, i have come to realize everything i have been dealing with for 29 years can be explained by 1 word...autism! as a kid i was diagnosed with adhd and a learning disability and brushed under the rug. it is so hard to get diagnosed as an adult though so i am shifting my focus to my autistic son and my middle daughter who is 3 and showing signs of autism. I love the special connection the 3 of us have because we understand eachothers' "flaws"
I was diagnosed with Asperger's at 19 three near four years after i left secondary school, my mum suspected i had a forum of autism at age 5, but was constantly rebuffed for not only my gender but because is a genetic disability called neurofibromatosis type 1, with has been know to course other disability such as deafness, glaucoma, and epilepsy but no not autism,
I was diagnosed when I was ten, and often found myself the only girl in aspie groups. This could get a bit awkward as many aspie guys would like an aspie girlfriend and (at least in my groups) were very single. I'm asexual and am not mad on the whole kissy squishy part of life.
Two of my aspie friends are trans and I imagine the weird binary divide is odd for them as the whole "boys will like trains, girls will like ponies" idea is wildly promoted but puts one of them in the wrong camp for liking trains.
There is also the issue of how blue was chosen as the colour of autism day by the mothers of autistic boys because they felt it represented their sons. Screw that decision!
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