Potential Link Between Autism and Screen Time

The technological world is forever changing and we often find it difficult keeping up with the effect it has on day to day life.   We know the risks that the internet poses in terms of E-Safety and that Online Safety is really important – but do we realise the impact of children spending hours on a screen can have on their development, particularly in the early years – it can actually affect brain development.

Some recent studies have shown the relationship between excessive screen time and autism behavioural symptoms. Excessive screen time can result in:

  • deficits in social behaviour
  • changes in brain structures
  • decrease in parent/child communication quality and quantity
  • language delay
  • hyperactivity
  • social isolation

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under the age of 2 years old have no exposure to screens and that screen time for 2 to 5-year-olds be limited to 1 hour per day. Yet despite this, most young children are exposed to screens more than this. In one study the average daily screen time of preschool children in the United States was found to be as high as 4.1 hours.

Links to the scientific reports and relevant articles below:

Screen Time and Autism

Autism and Screen Time Could be Related

Are Screen Time and Autism in Children Connected

Scientific Report: 2021


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