“Virtual Autism” or induced autism is termed labeled by Dr Marius Zamfir, clinical psychologist. Dr Zamir exposes that toddlers, young children and even adolescents, who spend great deal of hours exposed to TV, tables, iPad, iPhone, video games, and computers may exhibit symptoms associated with autism (ASD). Clinical studies have revealed that when parents removed all the overstimulation by technology and began to interact more with children; the autistic symptoms disappear.
It is paramount for parents and families to be aware of this phenomenon. As this may lead to misdiagnosis of autism to children who are lacking real stimulation and interaction with parents, peers, and spontaneous learning encounter within their environment.
Should we get rid of electronic?
Dr Zamir conducted a study about the use of technology. It was found that the consumption of virtual exposure more than 4 hours per day in children between 0-3 years old can cause a syndrome similar with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
It seems palpable that removing 100% of the virtual exposure to children and adolescents may significantly and positively impact in the typical progress of the individuals; allowing the brain to develop in a natural way by acquiring expected milestone appropriated foreach age.
It is a fact that language is best learned through and from experience using all sensory channels that human beings have. Even though, children may learn to sing, count, and repeat phrases from TV, iPad, and iPhone, they might find difficult to understand the concepts. It is vital to touching objects to learn about their properties, adding apples together to do math, maneuvering blocks and pencils and/or crayons, creative play, etc.
What are the treatment options?
Reducing screen time: slowly reducing screen daytime to reasonable level. There are apps that track how much time screen time a person spends in a day and shut it off after a certain amount of time. In addition, parents may also use clocks, timers, token system as other ways to reduce screen time.
Limiting what is available: remove all apps from the iPad except two or three educational games. Limits fast moving videos and game.
Don’t start: Educate families not to introduce electronic devices to babies and toddlers.
Provides Alternatives: Spinning toys, light up wands, musical toys, instruments, interactive books, other similar toys.