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Autism Linked To Hours Watching TV

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posted on Oct, 22 2006 @ 02:08 AM
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A research program carried out by Cornell University says the have found a correlation between children under three years old developing autism and the time they spend watching TV. They claim they have found a link between increased access to cable TV, 24 hour children programing and increase rainfall (which keeps children indoors) and an increase in children diagnosed with autism.
 



www.timesonline.co.uk
In the report Does Television Cause Autism? the researchers claim to have found a significant link between rates of rainfall, which is presumed to have kept children indoors, the spread of cable television networks with round-the-clock children’s programming and the level of autism diagnoses.

The researchers say their figures are so closely correlated that they “indicate that just under 40% of autism diagnoses in the three states studied (California, Oregon and Washington) is the result of television watching due to precipitation”.

They also found that 17% of the growth in autism cases in two of the states in the 1970s and 1980s might be due to television watching.




Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


I sure find this hard to believe, that watching TV can cause or trigger autism, but that is what they are claiming. Mutated genes is a more likely culprit. But I'm not a doctor, maybe they are onto something.

The lead researcher is an economics professor at Cornell University, you would think the university would rather spend money having him doing research in economics instead and have a doctor doing the research in the medical field.


[edit on 22/10/06 by Keyhole]




posted on Oct, 22 2006 @ 10:08 AM
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Increased rainfall? That's why the movie was called "Rainman"?

I think it's coincidence. Statistics can be used to prove anything, and the diagnose autism is more and more widely applied. Anyway it has been around much longer than television.

On the other hand, no wonder if it's true, the quality and reality of today's children programs in mind.



posted on Oct, 22 2006 @ 11:21 AM
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I dont find this hard to believe at all. The mind is developing rapidly from age 0 - 5 (this is the time that forms our core personality). If much of this time is spent staring at a screen, rather than using the developing brain on educational things such as "putting the cube thru the square hole" and other activities for the very young, then I definately can see a link between the two. Save TV for later in life, not as a babysitter. It could have to do with a lack of parental supervision if all they are doing is using the tv to occupy their child's attention rather than actually parent. Just because it is raining doesnt mean you have to watch TV - take it from me I live in Oregon. There are pelnty of other activities - like video games!!!



posted on Oct, 22 2006 @ 11:52 AM
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This is obviously a strawman, there is no understandable underlying mechanism, it's essentially an excuse blaming the victims.

Imho, it's pretty clear what the underlying reason is, the data on austism squares well with the rise of inoculations, especially those including the 'preservative' thiomersal, containing ethylated mercury. wealthier families were affected first because they could afford (at that time, the 1930s) more of the cutting edge medical treatment options. heavy metal poisoning is cumulative.

i will now give you a lot of links just in case anyone is interested.

haloboyle.blogspot.com...



www.abovetopsecret.com...

www.abovetopsecret.com...

www.abovetopsecret.com...

www.abovetopsecret.com...


please note that many of these ATS threads were orignially started to discuss vaccination issues, but quickly morphed into yet another autism debate.

[edit on 22-10-2006 by Long Lance]



posted on Oct, 22 2006 @ 12:32 PM
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Originally posted by Long Lance
Imho, it's pretty clear what the underlying reason is, the data on austism squares well with the rise of inoculations, especially those including the 'preservative' thiomersal, containing ethylated mercury. wealthier families were affected first because they could afford (at that time, the 1930s) more of the cutting edge medical treatment options. heavy metal poisoning is cumulative.

I agree. It's propaganda. It's not even good propoganda.. it's an ignorant guess. He assumes kids got autism cable because it rains? :shk: Why not blame something at least a little bit logical like chenobyl, pollution, additives or the amount of plastics and toxins that were starting to be used at that time? Even tephlon [sp] can cause brain damage. This man is as credible as Dr Dino.. I'd say he should stick to economics but he doesn't even understand that not everyone can [could] afford cable or habbitually watches TV.. and most 2/3 year old haven't got the attention span to sit for hours on end anyway [shows like the wiggles didn't exist back then]. I'm struggeling to understand why this guy is getting publicity.. I'm also wondering who funded this 'research' as the results seem more important than the non existant evidence.


[edit on 22-10-2006 by riley]



posted on Oct, 22 2006 @ 12:46 PM
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And what about all the Autistic kids before the inundation of television?

This Just In:

A research program has found a correlation between Autism and the Grand Ole Opry radio broadcasts.

Sheeeeeesh

Misfit



posted on Oct, 22 2006 @ 01:43 PM
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Here is another quote from the article

Original article

While television has long been regarded as potentially harmful for under-threes, most research has found only limited links between viewing and child development problems. However, many parents have reported that the behavior of autistic children is affected adversely by television.


In another article they suggest that maybe allowing young children to watch TV for "hours" might increase autism symptoms due to lack of social interactions.

Web MD - TV Implicated in Autism Rise

Child development expert Leslie Rubin, MD, finds Waldman's study interesting. But he does not think it proves a link between autism and television viewing. Rubin is director of developmental pediatrics at Emory University and director of the center for developmental medicine at the Marcus Institute, Atlanta.

This doesn't mean that Rubin rejects Waldman's idea that TV can trigger autism.



"TV viewing might be associated with autism if a child has that tendency and is not forced or coaxed or encouraged to engage in social interactions but instead is allowed to sit in front of a television," he says. "The whole goal of autism treatment is to encourage social interactions. We know that makes the single biggest difference in children's outcomes -- how they relate to others. So if they watch TV instead of interacting, they are going to get more withdrawn."



"We use TV for babysitting, as a substitute for social interactions, as the sole form of entertainment for children and families," he says. "Instead of kids going out to socialize, they stay home and watch TV. So if they have tendencies toward autism, these would be accentuated by the absorption of TV instead of being challenged by social interactions."


So some experts are thinking that the study might show how TV contributes to the symptoms of autism.

If this ends up being true, then this actually was a very good research project that might help medical professionals to diagnose autisim earlier and maybe help slow down the progression of autisim by not allowing patients "hours" of TV time.


[edit on 22/10/06 by Keyhole]



posted on Oct, 22 2006 @ 01:52 PM
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This is silly and funded like other studies that dont mean a hill of beans.

I grew up constantly watching television (I was an only child) and I'm about as normal as you can get.


I wonder how much money they were given to fund this story.


apc

posted on Oct, 22 2006 @ 02:15 PM
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Could not the reverse be the true issue? That autistic children were more attracted to television? My understanding of the disorder was that it presents before the child is even capable of speech; that symptoms can often be seen by the age of one. Am I mistaken?

It's like those studies that show marijuana is linked to mental disorder. It seems more likely that it is actually those with mental disorders that are attracted to marijuana.

Eh... 50% of us are statistics anyway.



posted on Oct, 22 2006 @ 02:51 PM
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Seems odd to me. My autistic son was diagnosed with PDD (falls under the autism umbrella) before he spent much time at all in front of any television.

Nor did he have any inoculations that contained thimerisol.

But the rain might have done it. We lived in South Florida at the time and he was born at the beginning of the rainy season.

Damn weather!

Harte



posted on Oct, 22 2006 @ 02:53 PM
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Originally posted by Keyhole
So some experts are thinking that the study might show how TV contributes to the symptoms of autism.

One medical expert who said it might make symptoms worse.. I doubt this thinking is across the board.

If this ends up being true, then this actually was a very good research project that might help medical professionals to diagnose autisim earlier and maybe help slow down the progression of autisim by not allowing patients "hours" of TV time.

Oh yes.. they could stop the bad parents from letting their children watch too much TV.
I've seen alot of [severly] autistic children and most are not interested in watching the TV.. even before they were diagnosed. It's a form of interaction [even though it's a 'thing'] so it's not something they'd usually indulge in. The only show my brother could watch was Romper room. To watch it everyone had to be out of the room and the lights off [OCD]. Romper room was full of social interaction which would have been good for him. Half and hour a day didn't make him 'more autistic'. In fact it would probably help autistic kids to watch people interacting because they are unable to do it themselves. It could help them emmulate/learn behaviour [which is something used in therapy btw].
If there is a correlation between the rain and autistic rates.. perhaps it has something to do with the rain and air itself! That would worry me more and seems to me a more logical culprit.. is the air contaminated? Did being forced to go inside deprive them of valuable vitamin D which the brain needs for development? Were their houses using ducted heating spreading potentially damaging germs? Were they getting fresh air? Were they being vaccinated against the flu or given cough syrups? Have they been exposed to mould spores/damp [which would me more common in wet areas]? There are several possibilities that could explain why there are higher rates of autism in rainer areas other than 'too much tv'. They need to actually add some research into their reseach instead of immediately discounting the obvious.

My bets on the pollution.

[edit on 22-10-2006 by riley]



posted on Oct, 22 2006 @ 02:59 PM
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This is a basic problem with people understanding and using and abusing science. (and I am not trying ot single out the OP on this, everyone does it, apparently even researchers)

The researchers didn't find a correlation, they found a coincidence between autism diagnoses and amount of television watched. There are all sorts of coincidences out there, a coincidence, on its own, doesn't mean that there's an actual correlation between two things.



posted on Oct, 22 2006 @ 03:36 PM
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Originally posted by riley
Did being forced to go inside deprive them of valuable vitamin D which the brain needs for development? Were their houses using ducted heating spreading potentially damaging germs? Were they getting fresh air? Have they been exposed to mould spores/damp [which would me more common in wet areas]? There are several possibilities that could explain why there are higher rates of autism in rainer areas other than 'too much tv'. They need to actually add some research into their reseach instead of immediately discounting the obvious.

My bets on the pollution.

[edit on 22-10-2006 by riley]


I lost the article that mentioned this, that maybe it has nothing to due with watching TV but just the time being spent in the house, where the child might be exposed for longer periods of time to mold spores in homes or even the offgasing of chemicals from furniture and other household contents.



posted on Oct, 22 2006 @ 04:22 PM
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Originally posted by Keyhole
I lost the article that mentioned this, that maybe it has nothing to due with watching TV but just the time being spent in the house, where the child might be exposed for longer periods of time to mold spores in homes or even the offgasing of chemicals from furniture and other household contents.


I was speculating.. offering other possible [and logical] causes for this supposed [unproven] autism/rain link.. something the "researcher" failed to do. I was also debunking the evidence because it isn't evidence. It's guessing and it's really bad science.

I'm sorry that not blindly accepting your article as fact caused you to resort to such sarcasm. What was the point? You completely ignored the rest of what I had to say.. you know.. the part where I have first hand experience in regard to autistics and television.

Nice talking to you. :shk:

[Now thats sarcasm..]



posted on Oct, 22 2006 @ 04:29 PM
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Have you ever watched very young children in front of a TV? They are mesmerized...absolutely entranced. Hell some adults still get that look on their face when the TV is on. It doesn't seem like a stretch to me to suggest that the light waves or flicker pattern of the television would effect the functioning of a very young and still developing mind. Just look at how different musics effect our mental state, or more to the point, how light flashing in a certain sequence can cause a grand maul seizure.



posted on Oct, 22 2006 @ 05:00 PM
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Well I've read some rubbish in my time but linking autism to TV just about takes the biscuit.

Yeah, there were obviously no autistic people before TV was invented - right?

Duh. No.

They may not have been called "autistic", because "retarded" and "mentally ill" was used, but I think you'll find that autism is about as old as humanity in one form or another.



posted on Oct, 22 2006 @ 06:44 PM
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Autism may have been with us for a long time but it is a matter of record that incidents of it began rising in the 50's and have been skyrocketing ever since.


apc

posted on Oct, 22 2006 @ 07:11 PM
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I recalled this Wired article from a few years back...

The Geek Syndrome

Talks about how nerdy parents are more likely to have autistic children. It's actually a very in depth article into the issue of the increasing diagnoses of autism.



posted on Oct, 22 2006 @ 08:37 PM
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Originally posted by riley

Originally posted by Keyhole
I lost the article that mentioned this, that maybe it has nothing to due with watching TV but just the time being spent in the house, where the child might be exposed for longer periods of time to mold spores in homes or even the offgasing of chemicals from furniture and other household contents.


I was speculating.. offering other possible [and logical] causes for this supposed [unproven] autism/rain link.. something the "researcher" failed to do. I was also debunking the evidence because it isn't evidence. It's guessing and it's really bad science.

I'm sorry that not blindly accepting your article as fact caused you to resort to such sarcasm. What was the point? You completely ignored the rest of what I had to say.. you know.. the part where I have first hand experience in regard to autistics and television.

Nice talking to you. :shk:

[Now thats sarcasm..]


You totally misunderstood my post here, I did read this before and could not find the article again, I looked for it and could not find the article again, I lost it.

The rest of my post was agreeing with you!

I do mold remediation and work with Certified Industrial Hygienist's a lot and have learned a lot from them about how our indoor environments can affect peoples health.

30 years ago homes were opened regularly because everybody did not have air conditioning and indoor heating, now with indoor AC and heating homes are built very "tightly" for energy efficiency and people rarely open their windows.

This can allow a build up of chemicals in the environment of a home due to chemical off gassing (V.O.C.'s) of various structure and contents components of the home, including maybe unknown mold problems.

It just might be the best thing they can take from this research is the time children spend indoors now and look for chemicals or other substances in the home that might be suspicious.

Then again, I don't know the correlation between the increase in population and the increase in the diagnosis of autism either.



posted on Oct, 23 2006 @ 02:06 PM
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Originally posted by apc
I recalled this Wired article from a few years back...



Thanx a lot, very informative: up: however, i still don't get why the Amish do not suffer from autism at all, quite strange.




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