Tuesday, March 31, 2009

TV, Babies, Toddlers, and ADHD (Part 1)

Assalamu alaikum,

A worthwhile read insha'Allah. Due to its length, we will present the article in parts insha'Allah.

It's Official: TV Linked to Attention Deficit
babies and toddlers parked in front of the TV have a much higher risk of developing ADHD by age 7, a new study shows
by Jean Lotus
Reprinted here with permission from Jean Lotus, Whitedot.org.

A study from the American Academy of Pediatrics shows that watching videos as a toddler may lead to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD, also called ADD in UK) in later life.
TV watching "rewires" an infant’s brain, says Dr. Dimitri A. Christakis lead researcher and director of the Child Health Institute at Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center, Seattle, Wash. The damage shows up at age 7 when children have difficulty paying attention in school.
"In contrast to the way real life unfolds and is experienced by young children, the pace of TV is greatly sped up." says Christakis. His research appears in the April 2004 issue of Pediatrics. Quick scene shifts of video images become "normal," to a baby "when in fact, it’s decidedly not normal or natural." Christakis says. Exposing a baby’s developing brain to videos may over stimulate it, causing permanent changes in developing neural pathways.
"Also in question is whether the insistent noise of television in the home may interfere with the development of ‘inner speech’ by which a child learns to think through problems and plans and restrain impulsive responding," wrote Jane Healy, psychologist and child brain expert in the magazine’s commentary.
Babies brains grow rapidly
Even a child playing with its own fingers has the neural patterning that comes from bending, flexing, stretching and grasping. Scientists tell us that the brain develops in completely unique ways between birth and three years. As a kiddie viddie baby sits "mesmerized", neural paths are not being created. This is crucial brain development that stops by age three.
"You don’t want to think that something as innocent as half-an-hour’s peace and quiet could reduce your kid’s chances later in life," says Claire Eaton, 27-year-old mother from Lewisham, Australia.
Setting up baby for failure in school
Are parents who use infant videos such as "Baby Einstein" and "Teletubbies" putting their child at risk for a lifetime of Special Ed classes, school "behavioral therapy" and Ritalin?
In the study of more than 2,000 children, Christakis found that for every hour watched at age one and age three, the children had almost a ten percent higher chance of developing attention problems that could be diagnosed as ADHD by age 7. A toddler watching three hours of infant television daily had nearly a 30 percent higher chance of having attention problems in school.

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