Micah Mazurek, is an assistant professor in the School of Health Professions at the University of Missouri and researcher at the Thompson Center. She's actually said, "We found that children with ASD spent much more time playing video games than typically developing children, and they are much more likely to develop problematic or addictive patterns of video game play.”
This has been taken up elsewhere to mean that "Video games addiction linked to autism". This, however, overlooks the fact that Mazurek's studies of children with and without autism or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) also encouraged her to state a wider set of conclusions.
According to the University
, "Mazurek studied screen-based media use among 202 children and adolescents with ASD and 179 typically developing siblings. Compared to typically developing children, those with ASD spent more time playing video games and less time on social media, such as Facebook. Children with ASD also spent more time watching TV and playing video games than participating in pro-social or physical activities. Conversely, typically developing children spent more time on non-screen activities than on TV or video games.
"In another study of 169 boys with ASD, problematic video game use was associated with oppositional behaviors, such as refusing to follow directions or engaging in arguments. Mazurek says carefully controlled research is needed to examine these issues in the future."
The assistant professor also points out that, "Because these studies were cross-sectional, it is not clear if there is a causal relationship between video game use and problem behaviours."
And that is key... strangely she also states that:
“Children with ASD may be attracted to video games because they can be rewarding, visually engaging and do not require face-to-face communication or social interaction. Parents need to be aware that, although video games are especially reinforcing for children with ASD, children with ASD may have problems disengaging from these games.”
We're trying to get more info on the research.
With the Andrew Wakefield misdirection regarding ASD and MMR jabs still causing actual harm we're not leaping to any particular conclusions based on this confusing report. We would like to know if you or someone you are close to has any actual experience with autism and video games.
Let us know here or in the Forum