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The Connection Between Autism And Screen Time: Special Brains, Special Risks

autism children

Children with autism are often negatively affected by too much screen time.

Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are highly prone to developing negative effects as a result of too much screen time. In fact, children with ASD are likely to suffer from video game addiction and an overall technology addiction when they are exposed to a lot of electronic screens regularly. As a result, there are a wide array of links between handing a child with ASD an electronic device and their negative effects. Here are just a few reasons why children with ASD are so vulnerable to the negative consequences of too much electronic screen time.

Very Low Melatonin And Sleep Disturbances

Many if not most children with ASD already have a lower melatonin level than others. However, screen time impacts their melatonin and reduces it even further. As a result, you have a child who is unable to sleep through the night. In fact, melatonin not only affects sleep, it drastically helps with modulating hormones in the body. When we have a dip in melatonin our hormones go haywire and our brain chemistry is disrupted. In the end, we want to make sure that our children are able to have a properly functioning immune system by making sure their melatonin levels are maintained at a proper level.

Significant Arousal Regulation Issues

Children with ASD are more prone to suffering from arousal regulation issues. What this means is that children with ASD are unable to control their stress like their peers. In fact, this manifests itself as an exaggerated stress response among children with ASD. As a result, these kids tend to find themselves being extremely over or under stimulated. However, adding screen time into the mix increases their acute or chronic stress and other anxieties. Therefore, to avoid overstimulation, reducing or significantly limiting screen time for children with ASD can do wonders.

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