Study Suggests Possible Link Between TV Viewing and Autism in Children
Too much TV time for toddlers may trigger autism, according to a study by Cornell business professors.
Over the past few decades, there's been an amazing increase in the number of children diagnosed with autism. Some experts think this is due to broader diagnostic criteria for autism. Some point to vastly increased services for autistic children. Others think that something in the environment is triggering an autism epidemic.
It occurred to Cornell University management professor Michael Waldman, PhD, that the increase in autism cases came at the same time as increased opportunities for very young children to watch TV. Could it be, he wondered, that the explosion in children's TV programming, DVDs, VCRs, and video/computer games is behind the explosion in autism diagnoses?
Waldman asked his colleagues in the medical world to look at the issue. Nobody would. So he assembled a research team and did the study himself -- using tools more often seen in economic studies than in medical studies. The results bolstered his suspicions
"We are not claiming that we have definitive evidence. But we have evidence that is awfully suggestive of a link between TV watching and autism," Waldman tells WebMD. "Someone should nail this down one way or the other."
This article also had links to other articles on autism
Early Signs of Autism Identified in Infants
April 29, 2005 -- Canadian researchers say they can recognize the early signs of autism autism in children as young as 6 months old, and they hope their findings will lead to better early treatments for the disorder.better early treatments for the disorder.
There is strong evidence that autism has its origin in abnormal brain development early in prenatal life,abnormal brain development early in prenatal life, write the authors.
Specific markers include making infrequent eye contact, not smiling in response to smiles from others, and, in older children, exhibiting delayed language skills.
Because of our son's brain problems autism is a concern for use. I breathe a little easier knowing he doesn't exhibit any of the "specific markers" listed above.