Autism-Open Access

Autism-Open Access
Open Access

ISSN: 2165-7890


Screen Based Media Use among Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder and Typically Developing Siblings

Ahmed Malallah AlAnsari and Haitham Ali Jahrami

Objectives: Screen-based media (SBM) use has become a widely practiced way of entertainment and social interaction among children and adolescent. Previous studies on the effects on health and socialization have revealed mixed results. The purpose of this study was to assess the reactions (magnitude, type) of withholding media devises among children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) and their typically developed siblings.

Method: A cross-sectional design study of children (n=75) attending Al-Wafa and Al-Rashad Centers for Autism recruited as a convenience sample for all registered cases with ASD diagnosis; each case had a typically developed sibling matched for sex and age. ADHD (n=50) group were children with similar age group, diagnosed with ADHD, attending the school Health Clinic. Similar inclusion criteria were applied to the ASD group. Sibling groups were brothers and sisters of ASD, ADHD cases matched for gender and age group of five years.

Results: SBM use of ASD cases was similar to their siblings use in term of the type of screen, daily duration of  viewing, and reaction to devise withhold. SBM use among ADHD cases was also similar to their matched siblings in term of a type, time spent on SBM and reaction to devise withhold. However, SBM use was different among ASD and ADHD cases (P=.001) in all three domains: type, viewing duration and reaction to devices removal. Tablets emerged as the preferred platform.

Conclusion: SBM use is widely influenced by parental rules and flexibility. These rules are linked with times spent on watching the screen; however, pathological use of SBM seems to be more among children with ADHD in comparison to children with ASD, defined as an overuse of video games/smartphones and their reactions when devices were withheld.

Published Date: 2020-01-03; Received Date: 2019-11-29