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Do Kids Get Autism from Watching TV?

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posted on Feb, 27 2009 @ 07:02 PM
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I keep on thinking what 'The Waterboy's' wild-eyed matriarch would have said about television - no doubt it would have been condemned as: 'The Devil- T.V. is the Devil...'

Yet that may actually be true.

The levels of autism have been on an incredible rise which can only be . described as meteoric. Put it this way, if the levels of any disorder or disease rose from 0.8 to 11.22 per 10,000, there would be uproar. I have had the privilege of teaching children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders and have found that they needed help with everyday social interactions. Some of the children, if told to 'Get Lost!' by an authority figure would try to do precisely that, bizarre but true - I have seen it with my own eyes.

Who or what is to blame?

Some guys think they have the answer - it is our friend in the corner - the T.V. Some reading I have done suggests that the TV generates mostly an alpha wave 'fuzz' in the brain which makes you highly suggestible to the information being fed to you - almost as a form of mind control. Yet it is the possible effect that it has on kids that really gets me mad.

If it is true, then the numbers of autistic 5 year-old should rise and rise and that is precisely what the data is showing. Is it just bad parenting using the T.V. as a pacifier or baby-sitter? Is it T.V plus vaccines or T.V. plus environmental pollution? If it is T.V then the worst conspiracy is the fact that we happily invite the 'eye in the corner' into every one of our living rooms.


Soaring autism rates in California not an artifact

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - The increasing number of autism cases seen in California since the 1990s is in large part real, not simply the result of changes in diagnostic criteria or in how autism cases are counted, new research suggests...

Using data from the California Department of Development Services, the researchers found that autism rates among children aged 5 years or younger rose steadily from 0.8 per 10,000 children born in California in 1990 to 11.2 per 10,000 children born in 2006.

The cumulative incidence per 10,000 births climbed from 6.2 in 1990 to 42.5 in 2001.

The proportion of cases that were diagnosed by 5 years of age rose only slightly from 54 percent to 61 percent for 1990 to 1996 births, according to a report in the January issue of Epidemiology...

"With evidence of a leveling off, the possibility of a true increase in (autism) incidence deserves serious consideration," the investigators emphasize.

"It's time to start looking for the environmental culprits responsible for the remarkable increase in the rate of autism in California," Hertz-Picciotto added in a statement.

Link


ONE OF THE CULPRITS?


Our precipitation tests indicate that just under forty percent of autism diagnoses in the three states studied is the result of television watching due to precipitation, while our cable tests indicate that approximately seventeen percent of the growth in autism in California and Pennsylvania during the 1970s and 1980s is due to the growth of cable television. These findings are consistent with early childhood television viewing being an important trigger for autism. We also discuss further tests that can be conducted to explore the hypothesis more directly.

TV helps to cause Autism


About 1% of children in the South Thames region have an autistic spectrum disorder

Baird G, Simonoff E, Pickles A, et al. Prevalence of disorders of the autism spectrum in a population cohort of children in South Thames (London)

Assessment: Children with an autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) or with social and communicative impairment were identified from the child health and speech and language therapy services registers...


Link to Autism Figures in London

Graphs of rise in Autism Numbers
Link to Graphs

Signs of Autism
Link to Signs of Autism in Kids




posted on Feb, 27 2009 @ 07:06 PM
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Interesting theory, and terrifying if true.

I really have no idea as to what causes autism - though I'm pretty sure vaccines have been mostly ruled out - but it seems like TV and other environmental factors are just as good places to look as any.



posted on Feb, 27 2009 @ 07:13 PM
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reply to post by Romantic Rights
 


RR thanks for the comments - they are frightening with so many kids and adults watching so much television. And there is so much goddam choice that everyone can spend a whole day in front of its hypnotic effects.
For example:


If you experience "mind fog" after watching television, you are not alone. Studies have shown that watching television induces low alpha waves in the human brain. Alpha waves are brainwaves between 8 to 12 HZ. and are Alpha waves achieved through meditation are beneficial (they promote relaxation and insight), too much time spent in the low Alpha wave state caused by TV can cause unfocussed daydreaming and inability to concentrate. Researchers have said that watching television is similar to staring at a blank wall for several hours..


TV and brain changes


[edit on 27/2/2009 by Heronumber0]



posted on Feb, 27 2009 @ 07:15 PM
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Honestly, I think autism and the like is a sign that our species is beginning to change.


What is the difference between a genetic abnormality and genetic evolution? Is the human body’s adaptability responsible for many of the conditions that we call mental disorders? Researchers concede that the science world is still in the dark about the causes of autism and asperger’s disorder, but they also concede that autism and asperger’s are most likely genetically oriented. Is it possible that in disorders such as autism and Asperger’s we are witnessing evolution at work?

Evolutionary progress

Autistic children tend to view things in a non-linear manner, whereas the ret of us are very linear. That is the difference.


“From my clinical experience I consider that children and adults with Asperger’s Syndrome have a different, not defective, way of thinking,” says Tony Attwood, a clinical psychologist at Griffith University and author of Asperger's syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals.
Different



[edit on 27-2-2009 by SpeakerofTruth]



posted on Feb, 27 2009 @ 07:24 PM
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reply to post by SpeakerofTruth
 


SpeakerofTruth if it is a change in evolutionary terms then it could lead to more and more people who are socially unable to pick up cues from their peers and some of the most severe forms involve complete withdrawal from the outside world. I don't know if it presents a survival advantage to the species but I can see what you are getting at - you mean that different ways of thinking may mean lateral thinking skills that become more valuable than linear logic. Interesting... thanks for the contribution Speaker.



posted on Feb, 27 2009 @ 07:26 PM
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reply to post by Heronumber0
 


I understand. However, take a look at the world we live in. Are we not moving away from verbal communication to electronic? I'd say we are. I'll elaborate on what I mean if need be.





[edit on 27-2-2009 by SpeakerofTruth]



posted on Feb, 27 2009 @ 07:29 PM
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Sure , maybe its another small factor that might contribute , but i'm not sure its just the TV that is doing this. It could be the uproar of other technology and social interaction changes that's attributing even more and maybe there was more in the past but we never knew. Only now are we really pinning down on the symptoms that make people 'autistic'
From the beginning of time there would of been people with autism but they were not called autistic and in some time line people thought of them as 'prophets or oracles' , but in some cases they were labeled loony. Like in the movie 100 Spartans where they all get advice from the Oracle .

Maybe today we should listen closer to these Autistic people to see what insight they can tell us. Some are very smart and have interesting ways of looking at the world





[edit on 27-2-2009 by nasacarl]



posted on Feb, 27 2009 @ 07:31 PM
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reply to post by Heronumber0
 


Interesting post and some very worrying speculation.
Theres another thread here dealing with how television viewing induces
Alpha wave hypnosis/Nervous hyperactive neuroses in the human brain so the idea of it being a catalyst for autism is not that far fetched.
www.abovetopsecret.com...
Cheers



[edit on 02/10/08 by karl 12]



posted on Feb, 27 2009 @ 07:35 PM
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reply to post by SpeakerofTruth
 


Thanks for that SpeakerofTruth - could you elaborate please. I am interested in finding out what you mean.

nasacarl thanks for the insight. However, if you look at the numbers of people with autism, they are definitely increasing. I did not find numbers from before and after the advent of TV programmes but I would bet that they would show a significant increase.

karl 12. Thanks. Could you paste the thread please.



posted on Feb, 27 2009 @ 07:36 PM
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reply to post by SpeakerofTruth
 


I'm inclined to agree with you on this one.

I also think at the root of this problem is a generation of highly intelligent children with exceptional potential in the hands of stressed out, overworked and "worked over by the system" parents who are so caught up in the madness that is our Modern World that they flat out don't have time to recognize or deal with the reality of an child who isn't a store bought model with a universal remote.



posted on Feb, 27 2009 @ 07:36 PM
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Originally posted by nasacarl
.
Maybe today we should listen closer to these Autistic people to see what insight they can tell us. Some are very smart and have interesting ways of looking at the world



[edit on 27-2-2009 by nasacarl]


Definitely. Honestly, the majority of them are brilliant. They view things differently than we do. As I stated, they have a non-linear way of looking at things. I don't necessarily agree with the first part of your post, but I certainly agre with the quoted portion.



posted on Feb, 27 2009 @ 07:38 PM
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reply to post by SpeakerofTruth
 


Thanks for that SpeakerofTruth - could you elaborate please. I am interested in finding out what you mean.

nasacarl thanks for the insight. However, if you look at the numbers of people with autism, they are definitely increasing. I did not find numbers from before and after the advent of TV programmes but I would bet that they would show a significant increase.

karl 12. Thanks. Great thread - I'll start reading the sources.

[edit on 27/2/2009 by Heronumber0]



posted on Feb, 27 2009 @ 07:40 PM
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reply to post by SpeakerofTruth
 


Yeah sorry i was a little off topic , i edited it now and you might agree with what i have written now . Totally agree , cheers.

They are brilliant , totally amazing at the things they can do. Some are good with knowledge , some are good with maths and science etc. I fully believe they should be working with scientists and physicists



posted on Feb, 27 2009 @ 07:42 PM
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Originally posted by Heronumber0

Thanks for that SpeakerofTruth - could you elaborate please. I am interested in finding out what you mean.



Certainly.


Fom what I am gathering, you have a problem with their "unsociableness." Have you ever thought that humans in the near future may have a different way of communicating?

Look at the world currently. Few of us have face to face interactions with other people,outside of our families, on a daily basis. We communicate more and more via e-mail and the like. Does that make it a bit clearer as to where I am coming from? I will clarify some more if need be.



posted on Feb, 27 2009 @ 07:50 PM
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reply to post by SpeakerofTruth
 


Quite clear. We are becoming more and more atomised as a society, and if it continues, we could end up with a minimum of social interaction. I was privileged to have met intelligent Autistic children. I had no problem with them.

However, I can see a problem if society disintegrated into pure individualism and people started to avoid human contact.

Nevertheless the effect of T.V. has a pernicious and dangerous effect to people who can be induced within a minute, to an alpha wave hypnotic state.

Autistic children can show the following symptoms:


Avoids cuddling or touching
Frequent behavioral outbursts, tantrums
Inappropriate attachments to objects
Maintains little or no eye contact
Over- or undersensitivity to pain, no fear of danger
Sustained abnormal play
Uneven motor skills
Unresponsiveness to normal teaching methods and verbal clues (may appear to be deaf despite normal hearing)
Symptoms of autism may increase in severity when the child enters adolescence and often decrease in severity during adulthood.

Link


[edit on 27/2/2009 by Heronumber0]



posted on Feb, 27 2009 @ 08:02 PM
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Originally posted by Heronumber0

However, I can see a problem if society disintegrated into pure individualism and people started to avoid human contact.


Well, I don't know that that will necessarily happen. I think autism is a very early sign of the process. I don't think that human contact will cease;I think that it will just change.



posted on Feb, 27 2009 @ 08:05 PM
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Let it be understood that I am not arguing that television is not harmful. I certainly believe that it is. It certainly affects a person's intelligence in a negative manner. However,I personally do not think autism is attributable to it.

[edit on 27-2-2009 by SpeakerofTruth]



posted on Feb, 27 2009 @ 08:11 PM
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Originally posted by SpeakerofTruth
Let it be understood that I am not arguing that television is not harmful. I certainly believe that it is. It certainly affects a person's intelligence in a negativemanner. However,I personally do not think autism is attributable to it.


Certainly, we both agree that TV is harmful. I think that there will be more and more studies showing that TV may be associated with Autism but I agree, it may not be the only factor. For example, fortifying flour with folate to combat neural tube problems in growing embryos may actually preserve the lives of children who carry a genetic mutation making them more likely to show autistic spectrum disorders.

I just hate the thought that a daily habit may be robbing children of the chance to actually live an active physical life and makes ADD and other disorders worse in severity. That would be tragic for our children of the future.



posted on Feb, 27 2009 @ 08:22 PM
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reply to post by Heronumber0
 


It can be argued that children who watch a lot of tv don't get outdoors much. And are breathing in more bad indoor air quality, including mold spores.

Combine that with all the other chemical burdens, and whoila.



posted on Feb, 27 2009 @ 09:54 PM
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Let it be understood that I am not arguing that television is not harmful. I certainly believe that it is. It certainly affects a person's intelligence in a negative manner. However,I personally do not think autism is attributable to it.


Television is actually a great way to learn if you watch the right shows. Especially for kids , we all watched sesame street and learned how to count a little.Watching soap opera after soap opera is going to do nothing but numb your brain , so i believe it has its place. I watch an our or so of Tv a day but i only like watching History/Discovery , then again i spend heaps of time on youtube. But its exercising your mind so its not really a bad thing , like playing video games.



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