Television & Autism - Questions for Parents of Autistic Children

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Television & Autism - Questions for Parents of Autistic Children

Postby Findanswers » Wed Nov 18, 2015 2:44 pm

Hi Everyone!

I am new to this website and forum and I really appreciate that there is a place that people can go to to discuss autism and its causes.

Now, I don't have an autistic child, but I do know people with autistic children, and this condition confuses and baffles me. The recent news that 1 in 45 children are now being diagnosed, when back in 2006 it was 1 in 100! I just think this is not justifiable and there NEED to be answers for families. As a substitute teacher for a few years, I have dealt with autistic children - or it would maybe be better to say children who have autism. And they were each unique and wonderful, but the experiences that many of them suffered through, certain children more than others, is just heart wrenching.

I was listening to NPR this past Sunday and I heard a series of programs. I really think someone in NPR set up the program so that they would all have similar themes so the audience (if listening over the course of 8 hours, which I was doing while cleaning a house) would put two-and-two together. I'm not sure that this was the two-and-two that NPR intended, but I did generate some ideas that I wanted to ask parents of children who have autism about directly:

So the first story that got me thinking about autism from the NPR broadcast is the one about the parents who used Disney movies to develop a line of communication between them and their mostly non-verbal son.

But while they were encouraged by the use of these movies, I began to wonder, what if the reason WHY the parents were able to use Disney movies to communicate was actually because the Disney movies were originally to blame for the disorder? What if this family had allowed their child up until age three to watch plenty of Disney movies and that the child's brain, while at that age was developing the neural processes for speech and communication became hardwired to only be able to handle input and output (or most input and output) in a movie-format, so to speak?

I did a preliminary search on autism and television and found that one doctor back in 2006 did a brief look at this and found that, yes, autism is higher in families that have heavier TV usage. So, he knew that research shows that when it rains, more people watch TV. So he looked at counties in certain states that have widely different rates of rainfall, and he found that the counties that have the highest number of rainy days also had the highest levels of autism. Secondly, he decided that this alone was not enough to indict television, and so he also knew that families that have cable have more television programming geared toward children, and he found that rates of autism go up in families that have cable. But he said someone else would have to do more research into this link.

And that really got me thinking!

I want to know if parents of children who have autism have thought about television - how much television did your child watch before he/she became symptomatic of austism?

Oh, by the way, I am not saying I think all autism could be caused by this - the benefits that diet seems to have on autism and the differences in intestinal flora in people who have autism alone seems to suggest that there are other biological processes as well.

But my main point in this is just to get feedback from real people who have actual experience. Would you be able to give a range of how much TV viewing your child did and the type of programming watched through various ages before their diagnoses?

I would just love to get a reading on this - and maybe it's something that's already been discussed on this site?

But again, the main things I would like to hear back about are: How much television did your child watch per day/per week before diagnoses (feel free to break it down, if maybe your child didn't watch any television for the first year and then watched 1 hour through age 2 and then two hours a day after that...), and what kind of programming did your child watch (e.x. cartoon network, Spongebob, Kipper, Sesame Street, Tom & Jerry, Baby Einstein, adult dramas).

This has NOTHING to do with any kind of judgment or blaming. I am just seriously interested to figure out if there is connection here and I feel like I don't know where to turn for research.

The American Academy of Pediatrics is going to withdraw their advice that children under age two should not watch television. All of these things are adding up for me, and I want to hear how parents of children with autism are thinking about this - is television therapeutic or could it be to blame?

God bless you all! And God bless all of your amazing and wonderful children!

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Re: Television & Autism - Questions for Parents of Autistic Children

Postby marsharayfield » Thu Jan 21, 2016 2:04 am

Hi! i think it depends on the program your child is watching. But based on what you have stated about television and how it affects/develops autism to a child. I am figuring it out since our youngest sister is an autistic and before she really do love watching TV and later on was diagnosed autistic. She was prescribed with psychoactive drugs or anticonvulsants but it doesn't relieves autism's core symptoms of social and communication impairments. Currently we are in the process of trying this Stem cell therapy which was referred to us by PlacidWay. They said that stem cell therapy increases the blood and oxygen supply to the brain, replaces impaired neurons, promotes development of new arteries and improving neurologic symptoms and the intellectual capacity of an autistic child. I am hoping this will work, I will update you if this works.

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