Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How kids with autism spend screen time

Date:
January 25, 2012
Source:
Washington University in St. Louis
Summary:
Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) tend to be preoccupied with screen-based media. A new study looks at how children with ASDs spend their “screen time.” Researchers found a very high rate of use of solitary screen-based media such as video games and television with a markedly lower rate of use of social interactive media, including email.

Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) tend to be preoccupied with screen-based media. A new study by Paul Shattuck, PhD, assistant professor at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis, looks at how children with ASDs spend their "screen time."

Related Articles


"We found a very high rate of use of solitary screen-based media such as video games and television with a markedly lower rate of use of social interactive media, including email," Shattuck says.

The study examined data from the National Longitudinal Transition Study 2 (NLTS2), a group of more than 1,000 adolescents enrolled in special education. The NLTS2 includes groups of adolescents with ASDs, learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities and speech and language impairments.

Data revealed that nearly 60.3 percent of the youths with ASDs were reported to spend "most of his/her time" watching television or videos.

"This rate appears to be high, given that among typically developing adolescents, only 28 percent have been shown to be 'high users' of television," Shattuck says.

"Television viewing is clearly a preferred activity for children with ASDs, regardless of symptoms, functional level or family status."

Nearly half of the youth with ASDs in the study (41.4 percent) spent most of their free time (outside of school or work) playing video games.

"Given that only 18 percent of youths in the general population are considered to be high users of video games, it seems reasonable to infer based on the current results, that kids with ASDs are at significantly greater risk of high use of this media than are youths without ASDs," Shattuck says.

Shattuck says that the high use of video games on children is concerning because it makes the youth unavailable for social interaction or learning.

Social media contrast

Study data show strikingly lower rates of use of email and social media among youth with ASDs.

"We found that 64.4 percent of youth with ASDs did not use email or chat at all," Shattuck says.

"Kids with speech and language impairments and learning disabilities were about two times more likely to use email or chat rooms than those with ASDs."

Shattuck says that as cognitive skills increased and children with ASDs grew older, use of social media increased.

"This proclivity for screen time might be turned into something we can take advantage of to enhance social skills and learning achievement, especially recent innovations in devices like iPads," he says.

The study, "Prevalence and Correlates of Screen-Based Media Use Among Youths with Autism Spectrum Disorders," is published in the current issue of the Journal of Autism Developmental Disorders.

Lead author on the study is Micah O. Mazurek, PhD, assistant professor of health psychology at the University of Missouri. Remaining authors are Shattuck; Mary Wagner, PhD, principal scientist at SRI International; and Benjamin Cooper, a graduate student at the Brown School.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Washington University in St. Louis. The original article was written by Jessica Martin. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Micah O. Mazurek, Paul T. Shattuck, Mary Wagner, Benjamin P. Cooper. Prevalence and Correlates of Screen-Based Media Use Among Youths with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 2011; DOI: 10.1007/s10803-011-1413-8

Cite This Page:

Washington University in St. Louis. "How kids with autism spend screen time." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 January 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120125142210.htm>.
Washington University in St. Louis. (2012, January 25). How kids with autism spend screen time. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120125142210.htm
Washington University in St. Louis. "How kids with autism spend screen time." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120125142210.htm (accessed November 24, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Monday, November 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
You Don't Have To Be Alcohol Dependent To Need Treatment

You Don't Have To Be Alcohol Dependent To Need Treatment

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found 9 out of 10 excessive drinkers in the country are not alcohol dependent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Complicated Job Might Keep Your Brain Young

Your Complicated Job Might Keep Your Brain Young

Newsy (Nov. 20, 2014) Researchers at the University of Edinburgh found the more complex your job is, the sharper your cognitive skills will likely be as you age. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

More Coverage


Adolescents With Autism Spend Free Time Using Solitary, Screen-Based Media

Jan. 25, 2012 Children with autism spectrum disorders tend to be fascinated by screen-based technology. A new study found that adolescents with autism (64.2 percent) spend most of their free time using solitary, ... read more

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins