An increasing number of children have autism. No matter how much parents try, it can be difficult at times to determine just how much screen time is healthy for your child.
Screen time and autism affect each child differently. Most parents have trouble knowing how much time they can allow their child to be exposed to gadgets or learning tools.
Luckily, we’re here to help! Read on and let’s get your autism parenting started right!
Consider the American Academy of Pediatrics Guidelines
One valuable resource to consult is the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) guidelines. Their guidelines provide evidence-based recommendations for children’s media use. It takes into account their developmental needs and potential risks.
According to the AAP, children aged 18 months and younger should avoid all screens. For children between 2 years and 5 years old, it is recommended that they have limited exposure to high-quality educational programs. Plus, this must be under adult supervision.
For children over 6 years old, parents should establish consistent limits on their screen time to no more than 2 hours per day. This is also allowed while ensuring that other activities like physical exercise and social interaction are also prioritized.
Consider Individual Needs and Sensitivities
Every child on the autism spectrum is unique. They come with their own set of challenges and strengths. Therefore, it’s important to tailor their screen time usage based on their specific needs.
Some children with autism may have sensory sensitivities. These of which can be triggered by certain types of content or excessive screen exposure.
For these individuals, limiting screen time and choosing appropriate content becomes even more essential. Pay attention to how your child reacts to different stimuli and adjust accordingly. If you are not sure how to handle it from the start, try exploring some resources for autism.
Prioritize Interactive and Educational Content
Choosing the right kind of content can make a significant difference in your child’s development. Interactive content engages your child actively rather than passively consuming information. Look for apps or programs that encourage participation through:
- virtual experiences
These types of activities can promote:
- problem-solving skills
- cognitive development
- social interaction
Educational content goes hand in hand with interactivity. Select programs that focus on teaching specific concepts or skills relevant to your child’s age and abilities. Don’t shy away from technology altogether. Embrace it as a tool for learning!
Remember that balance is key here too. While interactive and educational screen time has its benefits, it should not replace other important activities like:
- outdoor playtime
- social interactions
- reading books
- engaging in imaginative play
Prioritize interactive and educational content within a balanced approach to screen time. Make use of what you can provide your child for a valuable learning opportunity. Make sure they have a well-rounded childhood experience that’s also healthy for the development of their brain.
Understanding Screen Time and Autism
To summarize, screen time is necessary for those with autism to gain knowledge, increase communication, and gain independence, however too much is not beneficial. Screen time does not need to be cut entirely, but should be monitored and adjusted accordingly.
When it comes to screen time and autism, aim for balance and prioritize activities that involve interaction for better outcomes. Visit your local autism specialist to further discuss an appropriate balance of screen time for your loved one.
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