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Media Overload and Autism Spectrum Disorders

Sleep disturbances are common in children with autism spectrum disorder or A-S-D.. Kids with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder are also at increased risk of bedtime issues.

So researchers wanted to find out if TV, video games, and computer use make these problems worse.

Their study included parents of 49 boys with ASD. 38 with ADHD…and 41 with typical development for comparison.

All were asked to fill out questionnaires listing hours of daily media use, bedroom access to media, and the amount of sleep the boys got on average.

While bedroom access to media led to less sleep time for all of the boys, it was more strongly associated with reduced sleep among boys with ASD. The amount of time spent playing video games was also strongly associated with less sleep in the A-S-D group.

Moving forward, researchers would like to see doctors take a good look at media overload when coming up with strategies for autistic kids to get a good night’s sleep.

I’m Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with health information for healthier living.

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