Tuesday

link between TV and autism?

I think too much TV (including watching movies on DVD - not just actual television) is REALLY, REALLY bad for children, especially young children. I've consistently stuck with a low/zero TV policy around our house throughout my kids' childhoods (to their great chagrin), and I am pleased with that decision.

Here's some fascinating new evidence that links TV to the STARTLING RISE IN AUTISM.

It's a complex study. Please read the whole article before commenting.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

give me a fucking break. what wont they think of next?
maybe we just dont know.
now I think I will go switch on spongebob for my little one and then I will enjoy some court tv myself. pfffft.
arent you so special that your kids had little or no TV??? so what, do they shit golden turds because of this?

Anonymous said...

Something tells me your trolls aren't going to read the articles all the way through.

Katharine said...

I'm a parent of an almost-12-year-old boy with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD) (diagnosed when he was 5), the wife of a man with AD/HD (diagnosed when he was 39), and the daughter-in-law of a man with AD/HD (diagnosed when he was 64); obviously, my husband's family carries a gene implicated in AD/HD. I tell you this because some researchers think that AD/HD is another point on the autism spectrum.

Some time back, a study came out saying that it was possible that watching too much TV may cause AD/HD. Though I think that watching too much TV and watching it at an extremely young age are bad things, I have a very hard time believing that TV can cause either neurobehavioral disorder. The researchers in both studies have likely been tripped up by a factor that just happens to coexist with the rised in reported rates of AD/HD and autism, rather than a causative factor.

AD/HD and autism seem to be much more prevalent now than in the past partly because parents are more aware of them now and more of them are getting their children's problems diagnosed and treated.

Research has already shown that specific genes can cause a child to be predisposed to developing AD/HD, and here's a story about other genes found to double a child's chance of developing autism. Yes, there are likely environmental causes, but genes seem to play the largest roles in these disorders.

Katharine said...

P.S. That 2004 study about TV and AD/HD was reported here, among other places. Then just this year, another study was reported whose findings said that TV doesn't cause AD/HD.

Just wait; another study will come out showing that TV doesn't cause autism.

karrie said...

Katharine pretty much summed up my thoughts.

I still lean towards an environmental factor--if the incidence of autism is linked to higher rates of precipitation,perhaps focus there before making the jump to increased television watching when it rains or snows=autism. They do mention air pollution as a possible trigger.

I've read a fair amount about autism spectrum disorders since my son has a few flags and my first thought when reading this study is that autism spectrum disorders tend to affect children of older, well-educated parents.

Interestingly, children of such parents have been shown to watch less television than other kids.

The study is interesting, and I certainly can think of many reasons to limit the amount of media young children consume, but as Katharine indicated, I expect this study to be refuted.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on making your kids inept and ignorant.

Anonymous said...

thank you Karrie and Katharine. I may/may not have ADHD..no one really knows. but I do know lots of folks that have a much less ambiguous diag than I and what THEY say is that for those WITH ADHD TV can be very self soothing. and video games. so a correlation might in fact be that prior to diagnosis a lot of these people were intuitively self soothing themselves without realizing what they were doing. maybe the same goes for autism because I know those on the autism spectrum also engage in a lot of self soothing behaviors.
personally I think that the avoiding media thing is a symptom of snobbishness. I am very highly educated, very smart and I watch loads of TV and play video games. doesnt effect my IQ(or my kids) or school performance any. and yes, I read a lot too. and do all kinds of crafty work. sometimes with the TV on at the same time. imagine that.
I think the TV thing is a bunch of bunk. obviously anyone with a functional brain has concerns about the content of some shows but intrinsically? I think avoiding TV/media/video is just another way the intelligentsia make themselves feel more elite than everyman (or woman as the case may be) now I think I will go watch "Fosters home for imaginary friends"....

Cathy said...

I think this is a case of "ice cream and murders" in that they appear to correlate, but really don't. I DO have a child on the Autistic spectrum. He has watched far less television than I ever did as a child. He was different in utero than my other children. Autism is not what he has, it is a partial description of who he is.