The connections between Autism and TV
Does Television trigger childhood autism?
Autism is a social and psychological disorder that currently affects 1 in every 300 children. Currently there is no proof of one specific cause of autism. Studies show that autism manifests through a mutated gene called MET; however doctors firmly believe there are environmental triggers that actually bring the disorder out. The only problem is, the triggers have not yet been determined.
Recently a study focused on Television as the believed trigger of childhood autism. In reality, there has only been this one study on this claim, and it was very limited on its gatherings. The researchers discovered that the rate of autism diagnosis drastically increased with the introduction of cable television. They also showed that areas with greater access to cable had the highest autism rates. Researchers than demonstrated how children in rainier areas had to stay inside more, which likely led to additional TV viewing, and higher autism risk.
The above findings were the sum of the entire study. This study did not show the high numbers of autistic children in environments without TV. Overall this study failed to give adequate evidence that TV causes autism.
Do autistic children watch a lot of TV?
Autistic children thrive on sensory stimulation. They long to interact in a world with which they do not know how to communicate. Autistic children are commonly found soothing themselves by various self-stimulatory behaviors. These behaviors could include hand flapping, rocking, twirling, or other squirmy movements. No matter the behavior, the sensation is the same… they are looking for much needed comfort and interaction. Television opens a world of interactive stimulation that autistic children are otherwise lacking.
Autistic children enjoy that they can gather cues and skills from television that they cannot seem to pick up from other humans. Television teaches them concepts and emotional responses that they can find pleasure in. It also teaches them life skills that they may not otherwise learn.
Another benefit of television that seems to make the child happy is its assistance in social situations like school and play. Autistic children have a difficult time finding ways to communicate with their peers. Popular TV shows offer a common ground for conversation between the autistic child and his schoolmates. TV also offers an otherwise private and distant child an outlet for cuddles and play time with their parents.
Autistic children connect best with their visions and sounds. Words are generally lost to the minds of the autistic. Television offers an array of colors and sounds; songs and play that delight the usually straight forward mind of an autistic child. They find the giddiness and imagination of the shows absolutely fascinating, and once they are focused in on it, they simply cannot turn away.
This attraction to TV comes from its ability to allow the child to feel the pleasures of interaction without actually interacting. Autistic children tend to connect deeper with the characters, and can frequently be caught repeating phrases and songs from their favorite shows. In the end, it isn’t necessarily that autistic kids watch more TV than others; it is simply that they find a deeper pleasure in the overall experience.
Possible Links to Autism
1). Link between autism and circumcision
2). Link between air pollution and autism
3). Link between autism and crohn’s disease
4). Link between cellphones use and autism
5). Link between autism and alzheimer’s