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autism and childhood television watching

A new study from Cornell University suggests that there is a 'statistically significant relationship' between autism and early childhood television viewing. Dr. Mohler discusses the study here.

We know that television is a powerful medium. The American Academy of Pediatrics has advised parents of children under age 2 not to allow any television exposure.

The experience of watching television is passive rather than active. The child's imagination is not required to provide the images -- the screen does that for them. Television does not encourage active thought nor does it develop the attention span. Many researchers suggest that the experience of viewing television can affect the cognitive and neurological development of the child.

Christian parents should be concerned about the influence of television in the lives of their children, young and old. The possible link with autism is suggestive and fascinating, but the influence of television is of importance to all parents -- not only those dealing with autism. We cannot allow the television to function as a surrogate parent or substitute teacher.

The tone of warning in these words may sound harsh and could make some parents feel guilty about letting their kids watch television. I'm not citing this study with the intent of guilting anyone. But we do need to be aware of how much TV are kids are watching and why they are watching it.

There are times, for example, when my wife needs to emply the assistance of Barney or Seasame Street to entertain my 3 and 2 year olds while she nurses our newborn. This could be considered a good use of the TV. I, on the other hand, probably call on the likes of Dora and Curious George too often when I want some peace and quiet in an otherwise crazy house and the TV seems like the easiest remedy. It is laziness on my part and it is not benefical for my kids.

I think my wife is smart because when she senses the kids have had too much screen time she either enforces a 'TV ban' or she unplugs the TV and tells them its broken and daddy will fix it later. I think that is hilarious.

Not all lying is bad right...oh, come on, like you all are so perfect!

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