The Effects of Audio-Visual Stimuli in the Development of Autism Spectrum Disorders in Children Aged between 6 And 30 Months
Keywords:autism; audio-visual stimuli; children; autism spectrum disorders; M-CHAT-R/F
The earliest identifiable findings in autism indicate that the autistic brain develops differently
from the typical brain in the first year of life. Studies suggest that autism has an environmental
component that contributes to causation. Studies have shown an association between ASD and
increased childhood TV or smartphone screen exposure, suggesting childhood AV exposure as a
possible contributing cause of ASD. Infants are attracted to the salience of AV materials, but lack the
experience to recognize them as socially relevant stimuli. The research presents a developmental model
of autism in which exposure to screen-based AV in infants fosters non-social sensory processing
specialization in the brain. Through a process of neuroplasticity, the autistic infant develops skills that
are driven by AV viewing. This model explains atypical face and speech processing, as well as the
preference for AV synchrony over biological motion in ASD. Researchers studying autism causation
have largely ignored childhood AV exposure as a potential contributing factor. This study calls for
awareness of the association between early screen viewing and ASD.
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