Thursday, January 24, 2008

Thoughts for Thursday: Autism in Girls goes Undiagnosed

I found it interesting that I got an email from Kristy about five for fighting donating $0.40 to Autism Speaks for watching this video. And tonite on the ABC Nightly News they had a segment about girls being under detected for autism, that the numbers are probably higher, but because we "socialize" girls more than boys. Which means we teach them to be good and nice and sharing and the like, which gives some girls with autism enough social skills to go undiagnosed. I have been interested in the disease and have read and listened to some information. I read Ali E's blog, her son has autism. But most of this info is about boys. I thought the socializing aspect was interesting. Do we really treat boys and girls that different at that young of age? I have a girl and I do say that is nice and that is naughty. You're a pretty girl. Oh are you going to share with me? Let's sit together and play. But I would think I would do and say most of those things with boy too. But my daughter does do things I don't know where she gets them from. Putting on necklaces, she's never seen me do that. Carrying a purse. Putting a boa on? there is no cabaret here. They taught her to blow kisses at daycare, but I don't think they'd be doing that for the boys. She also wants to brush her hair and teeth, and I still have a hard time getting the boy to do that.
I was wondering if anyone had thoughts on this socializing differences? Do we raise/treat infant and toddler boys and girls that differently? Are some boys and girls born with some traits?


Cassandra said...

Robyn--I swear some things are in their DNA. I was one of these weirdo MOMs that had the NO WEAPON TOYS rule for my son-- and by age 3 (and he DIDN"T see it on TV to my knowledge!) he was making guns and swords out of spoons, sticks, umbrellas, etc. Phhft! he has to unleash little boy creativity with Ninja turtles and Power Rangers and they all have weapons. I got over it.

Anonymous said...

Great question! I often wonder what Maren would be like if she didn't have an older brother - he is a VERY rough and tumble, dig in the dirt, always on the go little boy - though he is also extremely affectionate with hugs, kisses, and cuddles. Maren is following his lead 110%! She loves to climb and jump, plays with his trucks, and looks at her baby doll like it is an alien.

The theory that girls are better socialized would certainly help account for the staggering difference in diagnoses between boys and girls. This has really got me thinking!