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Children are seen glued to screens more and more. Especially with the past year being so tough and online learning being extremely stressful for both mothers and children, screen time became a way out and one of the few luxuries a child can get. The question is: can TV cause autism?
Signs of autism in children
Problems with social interactions such as the following:
- Difficulty keeping eye contact
- Doesn’t respond to name by the age of 9 months
- Doesn’t show different facial expressions such as happy, sad, shocked, or surprised by the age of 9 months
- Doesn’t wave or use simple hand gestures by the age of 12 months
- Has difficulty following hand and eye contact such as look at what you’re pointing at by the age of 18 months
- Doesn’t show empathy towards others being hurt or sad by the age of 24 months
- Does not use pretend-play such as feeding a doll by the age of 30 months
- Has difficulty making friends and shows little interest in other kids
Performs repetitive behaviors or actions such as the following:
- Lines up toys or objects in a specific order and does not like it when the order is changed
- Repeats certain words or phrases continuously
- Plays with toys the same way every single time
- Opens and closes doors repetitively
- Obsessed with certain parts of objects such as wheels
- Throws a tantrum when the routine changes
- Needs to follow instructions and a specific routine
- Rocks body or spins in circles to calm down
- Does not like to be touched or hugged
- Can get easily aggravated by sounds or smells.
Shows developmental delays and behavioral problems such as the following:
- Delayed speech skills
- Delayed motor skills
- Delayed cognitive or learning skills
- Hyperactive, impulsive, and/or inattentive behavior
- Epilepsy or seizure disorder
- Unusual eating and sleeping habits
- Unusual mood or emotional reactions
- Anxiety, stress, or excessive worry
- Lack of fear or more fear than expected
Can TV cause autism?
Autism is caused by several factors such as genetics, family history, and premature babies. However, contrary to popular belief, watching TV cannot cause autism. There are studies that have shown that excess TV and screen time in babies and toddlers can cause developmental delays and other behavioral issues, but not autism. However, if your child does have autism, you should limit their screen time.
Does watching TV harm your baby?
While watching TV will not cause autism, it can harm your baby’s brain and cause long-term effects on a child’s language development, reading skills, as well as short-term memory. Especially when a baby younger than 18 months old spends excessive amounts of time in front of a screen, they can face problems with sleep and attention. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, screen time should be limited to one hour per day or even less for children aged 2-5 years.
- 5 Games Children Play that Could Be a Sign of Autism
- 10 Behavioral Counselors for Children in Cairo
- Signs Your Child May Have Learning Difficulties
- Does screen time contribute to slower child development? – Mayo Clinic
- 4 Things that don’t cause autism – Aruma
- Autism spectrum disorder – Mayo Clinic
- Signs and Symptoms of Autism – CDC
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