Something has been bothering me since our visit with Santa at the Easter Seals. We went and the boys played in the sensory gym for over and hour. The event lasted 3 hours. In all that time, we only saw ONE girl there to see Santa. All the rest were boys.
As a teacher, I work with children with autism, sensory issues, mental illness, ADD, ADHD...and while some are girls, overwhelmingly the majority are boys. What is happening to our boys? What are so many more boys diagnosed with autism than girls?
I understand that there is a genetic link. I have to ponder though: what about the life we are living now has changed, and how is it changing our kids, particularly our boys?
A while back I read the book The Out of Sync Child, especially when I was trying to learn more about my own boys' SPD. It surmised that because kids no longer "worked the field" and got muscular input, or heavy work, sensory issues have started to become more prevalent.
So is it t.v. and video games? Our society has certainly moved to a digital age...people send notes on facebook rather than send Christmas Cards and tweet when they are traveling, sick, or even cooking dinner.
Is it our food? Toxins, pesticides, plastics, high fructose corn syrup...so much more now than before. Is it what we are eating? Are preservatives, and additives, and chemicals neurologically damaging?
I realize my children were preemies, and a product of infertility treatments. Higher order multiples, IVF, IUI, and an increase in prematurity and the maternal death rate in the US all make me wonder. Is it the way babies are being born, the environment, (NICU) or a combination of both?
Whatever it is, it scares me. It scares me that we are losing boys to the great unseen: that your baby may appear totally "normal" and instead may end up with a host of health concerns. I thought I did it all right: I breastfed, much longer than most. I fed them healthy foods. I sang to them, and wore them and we started therapy asap. But I am scared that the epidemic is more than that: that we are losing our boys to something we have not yet put our finger on. I am scared for what it means for future generations, as well as our generation, if we can't pinpoint what exactly it is.