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Do kids with ADHD and autism need different rules for screen time?

Do you know what the screen time rules mean? It means managing the number of hours that the children spend a while on the computer or mobile phone or any other device such as playing video games, watching cartoons, or any other activity. By reading the title itself, you might think about the link between children with Autism, ADHD, and the different screen time rules. If you are unaware of it, you should surely read further.

The link between Autism and screen time rules

Let us start by knowing more about Autism. The definition by the American Psychological Association helps us understand that Autism is a disorder that makes it difficult for the children to make friends, socialize, and speak properly. They also engage in activities such as repeatedly clapping without any reason among a lot of other actions. So it rightly makes us understand they are more likely to spend more time watching TV or playing online games. The difficulty in making friends also has an impact on their ability to develop and maintain relationships.

But as they spend a lot of time in front of the screen, they are losing their opportunity to learn new things such as being able to focus, speak properly, and make friends. They can also face difficulty while falling asleep if they have just watched something on the mobile or computer screen. Hence, you should be concerned about effectively framing screen time rules for children with Autism to learn more social skills or other physical activities.

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The link between ADHD and screen time rules

Now that you know about the link between Autism and screen time rules let us further understand the connection between ADHD and screen time rules. American Psychological Association has explained that ADHD, or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, is a behavioral condition that makes it difficult for them to focus on everyday activities and routines. They are also unable to make plans which work in reality. They also have difficulty in obeying a timetable. They are also not able to think before they do any action.

According to Mercedes Pratt, children with ADHD have dangers from movies and videos. It is because they have very bright colors and the sounds which can be harmful to them. She also mentions that they have trouble understanding the number of hours they spent watching TV or playing online games. They also face difficulties in sleeping due to excessive screen time. Hence their parents or guardians should take care of the protection from the damage caused by spending too much time in front of screens.

Different Screen time rules

Now that you know of the direct relationship between damage and the amount of time children with autism and ADHD spend on screens, do you want different screen time rules for them? Here you go!

Using technology for their benefit

Several learning apps will make it easier and more fun. In children with ADHD, it is possible that they also have learning disabilities, as Radesky has mentioned. The technology offers several creative options, such as typing using a keyboard or listening to the audiobooks.

Learning through cartoon characters

If you are a smart parent, you won't let the learning and their show remain separate. You would help them learn by asking about the color of clothes or the number of friends a particular cartoon character has. You can also provide them with an example of how good a specific cartoon character is and how they can try to be like them. It is time to show your smartness and creativity, and you can truly help them learn a lot through this technique!

Use it as a reward

You might have a difficult time handling your children, and hence it is time to use their weakness, which is their favorite show or activity on the screen to tackle them! You can first ask your kids to complete their routine tasks, including their studies, homework, finishing their meals, etc. Then only you can allow them to do their favorite thing. It will be a good point between their wants and responsibilities.

A timer to track the number of hours

Have you been tired of explaining to your kids that it is time to switch off the TV or computer? Indeed, it is neither their fault nor yours. Both of you were unaware of the secret shared by Radesky that children with ADHD easily understand something they can see rather than the warning you give. Now, you know the correct way to make them understand that the time is up!

Engage in interactive activities

Children with ADHD and Autism face difficulties in sleeping. If they watch anything on the screen before they sleep, it is always better to do some interactive activities instead. These can include playing the role-play of their cartoon show or asking them to tell the story of their cartoon characters.

It will also help them speak properly and make it easier for them to communicate with their peers. They will have a high chance of doing so with motivation and dedication since it is a topic of interest. It is, of course, we who need to understand and change. It will also protect you from being tired emotionally, physically, and mentally. It can also give you more time for your interests and self-care.

Hence, children with Autism and ADHD must have different screen time rules. And the change is required in your ways of dealing with them. You should now actually start trying these different screen time rules with them. It will ensure the balance of fun and learning in their life. So, what are you waiting for?


Image credits: Getty Images

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