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We recently discovered a fellow blogger, Benjamin Theisen. He is a BCBA and he writes often about how ABA may be applied to every day life. We are sharing this post because of its relation to TV watching which we wrote about recently as well. We hope that you will enjoy reading Benjamin’s blog as much as we do. You will find it here if you want to read more. You may also follow him on twitter @BYOCmagazine

From USA Today: Experts tell parents secondhand TV harms child development

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It’s in your liv­ing room.
It under­mines parent-child inter­ac­tions.
It hin­ders lan­guage devel­op­ment.
It reduces your child’s abil­ity to play and learn.
It reduces time your child will spend TRYING to play and learn.
At least 33% of fam­i­lies do it everyday…

You are the par­ent. You are in charge.

Take a stand! Turn OFF the TV!

This advice comes from the Amer­i­can Acad­emy of Pedi­atrics, who recently pub­lished their first warn­ing ever about the dan­gers of sec­ond­hand TV.

“Par­ents are dis­tracted by TV the same way preschool­ers are,” says author Lisa Guernsey.

Look at your liv­ing room. Watch for the warn­ing behav­iors:
Do you leave the TV run­ning while inter­act­ing with your child?
If your child is play­ing with a toy nearby, are you check­ing the TV while cook­ing?
Are you watch­ing him play with an inter­ac­tive book while your TV plays on low-volume or mute?
Is your child col­or­ing while you rewind the DVR and read par­ent­ing blogs online?
Turn off the TV! Par­ent­ing means you multi-task enough already.

Turn OFF the TV when you inter­act with your devel­op­ing child. Read the USA Today arti­cle to know why.
Exter­nal Link — USA Today: Experts warn of harm to kids from sec­ond­hand TV viewing

For more about how you can teach your chil­dren, click this inter­nal link to BYOC Magazine’s “2 Myths about par­ents as teachers”.

For a detailed pic­ture of what to do with your child when the TV is off, click this inter­nal link to BYOC Magazine’s “Par­ents are teach­ers — Lit­tle girl vs. The shape sorter”.

What is your opin­ion on TV and par­ent­ing? Does it affect your children?

Tags: child, kids, sec­ond­hand, TV, dan­ger, devel­op­ment, par­ent­ing, advice, teaching

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We try to review a research article each week. Because we are both in Las Vegas this week for the Autism Research Institute (ARI) conference, we picked a research article related to one of our presentations: sleep–or the lack thereof. We are not talking about OUR lack of sleep (there is not much sleeping going on out here), we are talking about sleep issues for children with autism.

As if having a child with autism isn’t stressful enough, the condition brings along many other issues as well. For example, many children with autism also have gastrointestinal (GI) issues. Many children with autism also have feeding problems. And if those don’t wreak havoc on a family, try having all of that plus a child who won’t sleep.

Sleeping issues may be brought on by a number of variables including medical issues. Before trying any sleeping program with your child, be sure to rule out any underlying medical issue that may be affecting the sleep disorder. For example, some antibiotics cause insomnia. If your child is taking antibiotics, the medication could be causing the sleep issue.

Some environmental factors may be contributing to the sleep dysfunction. And that is the topic of today’s research review. The study we will review is titled, “Does television viewing cause delayed and/or irregular sleep–wake patterns?” The study authors are Asaoka, Fukuda, Tsutsui, and Yamazaki. The study was published in the Journal of Sleep and Biological Rhythms in 2007.

I like this study because they did not focus on participants with disabilities. Instead, they studied people from the random population. Eight participants were college age and the other eight were elderly. The researchers studied the participants for 2 weeks while the participants wore a wrist recorder and they self-recorded notes about their activities. The first week of the study, the researchers asked the participants to behave normally. The second week of the study, the researchers limited television watching to just 30 minutes per day.

The researchers reported that for elderly participants, their sleep-awake patterns did not change. However, for the college-age participants, sleep increased significantly. The researchers noted that while the sleep for elderly participants did not change, the motor movements at 1am decreased when television was limited and the researchers associated that with the decrease in television.

The researchers noted that “previous studies have revealed that exciting video display terminal tasks with a bright display suppresses the concentration of melatonin” which is definitely related to sleep. They also discussed the association with increasing body temperature and increased sleep so they stressed the importance of an evening bath.

In summary, if your child is having difficulty sleeping, we suggest that you cut out television, iPad, and video games at least 2 hours before bed time. Instead, use that time to settle in to a comfortable bedtime routine of bathing, reading, and family time.

Happy Sleeping!

 

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