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Home / Mike Norman Economics / “Virtual Autism” May Explain Explosive Rise in ASD Diagnoses By Marilyn Wedge, PhD

“Virtual Autism” May Explain Explosive Rise in ASD Diagnoses By Marilyn Wedge, PhD

Summary:
It seems that children need to spend time with other children and adults as well as play with toys for their brains to develop properly but far too many of them are spending too much time logged onto their computer screens, tablets, and mobile phones instead. I read of one woman who was late home and worried about her boy maybe getting up to no good and found him and his friends all sitting around in silence in the kitchen all one glued to their mobile phones.Boy, did I have fun as a kid, in those days you were just allowed out to play without parent supervision. I remember even at five years old before I went to school I was allowed to go in the streets to play and I would meets loads of other kids my age too. When I was six I remember wondering for miles and I never got lost knowing

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It seems that children need to spend time with other children and adults as well as play with toys for their brains to develop properly but far too many of them are spending too much time logged onto their computer screens, tablets, and mobile phones instead. I read of one woman who was late home and worried about her boy maybe getting up to no good and found him and his friends all sitting around in silence in the kitchen all one glued to their mobile phones.

Boy, did I have fun as a kid, in those days you were just allowed out to play without parent supervision. I remember even at five years old before I went to school I was allowed to go in the streets to play and I would meets loads of other kids my age too. When I was six I remember wondering for miles and I never got lost knowing every street corner on the way back. When I think back it was almost like photographic memory, but all of that gone now, though.

Some children who have been diagnosed with autism or autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) could dramatically benefit from not being exposed to electronic screens.

New clinical case studies have found that many young children who spend too much screen time—on TV’s, video games, tablets and computers—have symptoms labeled as “autism.”1 When parents take away the screens for a few months the child’s symptoms disappear. The term for this phenomenon is “Virtual Autism” or autism induced by electronic screens. The term “Virtual Autism” was coined by Romanian clinical psychologist Dr Marius Zamfir.

Romania witnessed an astonishing rise in autism among youngsters in a children’s hospital. The cause was unknown, so one psychiatrist dug into the activity logs the hospital collected on all admitted patients. In those records he found a strong trend: children presenting with autism were spending four or more hours a day watching some kind of screen: television, computer, tablet, or phone. Today in Romania, treatment of autism by screen withdrawal is considered routine and has public support.2

We are seeing a startling rise in autism diagnoses in the United States, a trend that has parents, teachers, and mental health professionals puzzled and concerned.

These statistics from the Center for Disease Control paint a stark picture of the rising rates of diagnoses:

In 1975, 1 in 5000 children were diagnosed with autism.

In 2005, 1 in 500 children.

In 2014 (the most recent CDC numbers), 1 in 68 children.

The latest government survey of parents suggests that today the number of children living with autism may be as high as 1 in 45. That means that today in the United States a child is 100 times more likely to be diagnosed with autism than children in 1975.

https://www.madinamerica.com/2017/08/virtual-autism-explain-rising-asd-diagnoses/

Mike Norman
Mike Norman is an economist and veteran trader whose career has spanned over 30 years on Wall Street. He is a former member and trader on the CME, NYMEX, COMEX and NYFE and he managed money for one of the largest hedge funds and ran a prop trading desk for Credit Suisse.

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