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autism & Television

  1. #1
    Neha is offline Banned
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    autism & Television

    Interesting Article

    http://www.slate.com/id/2151538/

  2. #2
    mummymoo is offline Registered User
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    It is worrying but I think the jury is still out with regards to this issue, the study evidence is not the best sort of level, i.e. placebo controlled (study two groups of children who are similar and expose one group to tv and the other aren't allowed to watch telly, and then measure the rates of autism in both groups and compare) it is more a population based observation study and these types of studies have many problems. It reminds me that a few years ago a clever group of doctors and scientists set about to show that if you wanted to you could take data and put it through a software program looking for trends, the data was about people having heart attacks and concluded that if you were a particular star sign that you were more likely to have a heart attack, which is clearly not true.

    Anyway, I'm not for babies watching television. But I think that television is as much a part of our lives as mechanical transport, and that as mums we have to strike a balance in deciding at what age, when, how much and what our children should and can watch, and common sense is a good guide for all the in between situations when science and studies can not categorically answer our questions (the vast majority of times). Sometimes I think this evidence based science makes things more confusing for us to live rather be helpful i.e. Hormone Replacement Therapy articles, and the fact that the press loves to latch onto big ticket headlines i.e. "Autism is caused by TV" makes an idea, the desire to explore whether tv does cause autism in a logical fashion, potentially harmful.

    Well that's my contribution to this debate. Hope it helps!

  3. #3
    mummymoo is offline Registered User
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    The article about heart attacks was published in the Lancet Journal, a premier and respected scientific/medical journal

  4. #4
    MLBW Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by mummymoo View Post
    It is worrying but I think the jury is still out with regards to this issue, the study evidence is not the best sort of level, i.e. placebo controlled (study two groups of children who are similar and expose one group to tv and the other aren't allowed to watch telly, and then measure the rates of autism in both groups and compare) it is more a population based observation study and these types of studies have many problems. It reminds me that a few years ago a clever group of doctors and scientists set about to show that if you wanted to you could take data and put it through a software program looking for trends, the data was about people having heart attacks and concluded that if you were a particular star sign that you were more likely to have a heart attack, which is clearly not true.

    Anyway, I'm not for babies watching television. But I think that television is as much a part of our lives as mechanical transport, and that as mums we have to strike a balance in deciding at what age, when, how much and what our children should and can watch, and common sense is a good guide for all the in between situations when science and studies can not categorically answer our questions (the vast majority of times). Sometimes I think this evidence based science makes things more confusing for us to live rather be helpful i.e. Hormone Replacement Therapy articles, and the fact that the press loves to latch onto big ticket headlines i.e. "Autism is caused by TV" makes an idea, the desire to explore whether tv does cause autism in a logical fashion, potentially harmful.

    Well that's my contribution to this debate. Hope it helps!
    I am curious to why you referenced hormone replacement therapy? Is it particularly controversial? I never thought that it was.

    As far as kids watching TV linked to autism. I think you're right that things haven't been studied thoroughly enough--however, I don't think that TV is an especially good device for kids to have in their lives daily from an early age. It's not that TV is bad but it does have its place. I notice that the TV draws my 10-month-old son like a moth to a lightsource whenever it's on. He can't relate to or understand what's playing on TV and I think it's much more of a noisy, every-which-way distraction than a positive tool at this age.

    I have several friends who set up their home so that the TV isn't the main focal part of the family living/playing area. I know in HK it's hard to do that but I think it's much better to have the TV closeted off somewhere and have to "bring it out" to use it--in that way it encourages more family interaction on all levels. Of course, every mother will make the choice herself about when and what she allows her children to watch.

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