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.: October 2006 --> TV might cause autism

TV might cause autism

»  New research from Cornell University shows a correlation between television viewing during early childhood and autism. Here's the paper. (thanks, jjg!)
 [ 10.16.06 ]


This is very, very disturbing...It would be interesting to also assess the impact of computer games on youngsters, say ages 6 to 10.

The paper has not been peer reviewed and the connection it finds between TV and autism is rather specious. Here's a good analysis of the study.

I haven't read the analysis (above) yet. But just off-hand I wondered about all those nice families that don't let their kids watch TV - how did THEY get autism? Also, the professionals who worked with my child (not autistic but has developmental delays) said that you could usually go back to early videos of autistic children and see the signs, before actual diagnosis. Of course they could just be seeing what confirms their beliefs (see cognitive bias link so helpfully provided elsewhere on the blog)

Probably limited TV is always a good idea. We sometimes let the children lapse into too much of it, usually when life is very stressful and we can't cope with childrearing non-stop. One way to make sure the kids don't watch too much tv is to make sure you don't have too much interesting TV. Hence no cable at our house, and dang, we just never seem to buy DVDs or videos. Books, yes, but DVDs? We rent them. And we'll take hand-me-downs. But we still have to lock up the tv cabinet and hide the key some days.



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