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Offline billross477

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Question about Asberger's
« on: 14/12/2010 04:17:53 »
Is it possible that an increase in children with a reduced ability to read social cues and facial information could, at least in part, be the result of spending so much time in critical early years watching animated and puppet characters on television instead of interacting with actual people with real facial musculature?  I have been referring to this as the Bert and Ernie effect. What is your best argument to the contrary?

Bill Ross
billross477@comcast.net


 

Offline JP

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Question about Asberger's
« Reply #1 on: 14/12/2010 04:25:47 »
There was a little work done on the link between autism and television viewing in young children.  I recall reading stories like this a few years ago on it: http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1548682,00.html
(Unfortunately the links to the original article seem to be down.)  I haven't heard about any conclusive evidence for a link, but it's an interesting idea.
 

Offline Geezer

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Question about Asberger's
« Reply #2 on: 14/12/2010 06:11:43 »
I have been referring to this as the Bert and Ernie effect. What is your best argument to the contrary?

I think you are right. Bringing up children is a highly interactive process.

A TV program can be entertaining and educational, but it is no substitute for parental interaction.
 

Offline billross477

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Question about Asberger's
« Reply #3 on: 14/12/2010 13:18:12 »
My thinking is that the normal developmental process progresses as the child sees and learns to interpret facial expressions of family and care-givers.  When a significant portion of "face time" is provided by animated cartoons and puppets that are incapable of accurate (or any) facial expression the brain does not develop interpretive ability to the extent needed for normal function.  This ability would then need to be developed later in life, which provides a rationale for the improvements seen in some children in response to interventions.
 

Offline yor_on

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Question about Asberger's
« Reply #4 on: 16/12/2010 19:42:42 »
Aspberger is a tricky one. But it has to do with the brains development. It's not about 'bad parenting' and watching television, although you might suspect that what you learn as you grow up will influence your behavior. But that observation is true for all of us, easily invalidating it as the 'reason'. It seems like boys are more 'susceptible' to it than girls, about four boys for each girl gets the diagnosis. That doesn't tell us that there can't be as many girls that have it though, it may have to do with it taking a different expression in girls, not as 'visible' to us as it may be with the boys. In Sweden we find that one to two kids for every thousand will have an autism. when it comes to Aspberger the numbers are much more uncertain but it is definitely higher.

(Fombonne, E. (2003). Epidemiological surveys of autism and other pervasive developmental disorders: an update. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 33(4), 365-382.)

Even if you have Aspberger you might be perfectly functional in society, its all about the severity and where you live. And the definitions and gradations of severity, and what it then gets defined as differ between society's.
« Last Edit: 16/12/2010 19:45:22 by yor_on »
 

Offline BenV

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Question about Asberger's
« Reply #5 on: 17/12/2010 09:21:05 »
But don't cartoons and puppets display over-the-top and exaggerated facial expressions?
 

Offline billross477

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Question about Asberger's
« Reply #6 on: 17/12/2010 13:34:07 »
There are a vast number of facial cues we become capable of recognizing and interpreting subconsciously through exposure and experience in early developmental years.  Puppets such as Kermit the frog, costumed characters like Barney, and drawn characters in cartoons do not display these facial cues (or if they do the cues are over exaggerated and lack detail and realism).  If a small child is spending a significant amount of time watching these characters in replacement of time spent with real people they are getting far less practice in developing the recognition and interpretive abilities we use daily.

 

Offline yor_on

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Question about Asberger's
« Reply #7 on: 17/12/2010 20:58:19 »
What really small kids seemed to like though was the 'telly tubies' if I remember right. you could leave them in front of the telly to just sit there, smiling of with the best of them. Evil telly tubies take over the planet!
« Last Edit: 17/12/2010 21:02:10 by yor_on »
 

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Question about Asberger's
« Reply #7 on: 17/12/2010 20:58:19 »

 

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