Thursday, October 19, 2006

Autism linked to television watching?

I listened to this Slate.com podcast on the way to work this morning and was pretty amazed. Who knows if this is true, but I wonder if there will be any ramifications in the children's television world.

Read more children's books, I say!

Also, I'd like to direct all of you over to the Blue Rose Girls site for our first-ever Cupcake Contest! Cast your vote now, and enter to win CUPCAKES!! Yes, cupcakes. Well, or a cupcake-related prize.

2 comments:

Melissa W. said...

I'm betting there isn't a whole lot of truth to it. Every so often, someone somewhere gets funding to research a link between autism and....something or other. And nothing much ever comes of it. Yes, there has been a dramatic increase in diagnosed cases of autism lately, but nobody ever seems to look at the corresponding fall in diagnoses of other neurological disorders and mental disabilities.

So it's more likely that the increase is due to better diagnostic tools, greater awareness in the medical community and in the public at large. Asperger Syndrome, for example, has only been a recognized diagnosis in the DSM IV since 1994. Before that, those children--who do not display classic autism symptoms--were just considered "different."

So what we're seeing may be less a case of an increase in autism than it is an increase in recognizing who has it. And of course, a certain amount of misdiagnoses as well, where certain autism spectrum disorders like Asperger Syndrome have replaced ADHD as the "disorder du jour" for the less easily classified.

Elaine Magliaro said...

Last week I was listening to a program on NPR. I heard a fourteen-year-old high school freshman named Joshua Yuchasz read an essay he had written about himself. In third grade, his teacher informed him that he had Asperger's Syndrome. In his reading, Joshua explained how he is different from other kids. His essay was both funny and touching.
I called a relative right after the program ended. She has two boys who are a lot like Joshua. I sent her to the NPR website to read the essay. I knew she would understand what this young man faced at school and in his relationships with his peers. My relative printed off several copies of the essay entitled "We're All Different in Our Own Ways."

Here's the URL:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6254308