Smartphones Making Children Autistic, Warns Experts !


Children struggle to read emotions and are less empathetic than a generation ago because they spend too much time using tablets and smartphones, a leading psychiatrist has warned.
Constant use of technology such as smartphones is making today's children display borderline "autistic" behaviour, psychiatrist Iain McGilchrist has warned.
The former Oxford literature teacher, who retrained as a doctor, said that children as young as five are becoming increasingly unable to read facial expressions or show empathy, compared to children in previous generations.

smiling boy with autism and smartphone

The author of The Master and his Emissary, which explored the functions of the left and right hemispheres of the brain, added that there is evidence youngsters are “less empathic” than four decades ago. He pointed to research done in the US within the last decade that shows a decrease in empathy among college students and at the same time a rise in narcissism.
However, experts have said children’s lack of ability to read emotionsmay be down to cultural or language barriers and not just technology.
He said he had heard of increasing numbers of teachers who have had to tell their pupils what different facial expressions mean.
He added that he had spoken to some teachers who now find that around a third of their pupils have problems with maintaining attention or understanding others' emotions or facial expressions - a problem which he says is due to the increasing presence of technology in childrens' lives
Dr McGilchrist said he has been contacted by teachers of five to seven year olds who have estimated that roughly a third of their pupils find it difficult to keep attention, read faces. 
Speaking to The Telegraph, he said: "Children spend more time engaging with machines and with virtual reality than they used to in the past, where they don't have to face the consequences of real life."

kids using smartphones may become autistic

"In virtual environments they don't have to interpret the subtle cues of real-life environments like when they are playing with children in the woods."
He also said: “Small children are not getting the same individual face-to-face attention as before and when they are at home with the family, the family is multi-tasking and the child is in front of the TV or an iPad screen which is quite worrying.”
However, other experts say the issue is more complex. Dr Nadja Reissland, a psychologist from Durham University, said McGilchrist's basic claim that children are less able to read emotions than in the past was "a big statement". 
She said the reasons behind an apparent lack of empathy are complex adding “It could be true but we need to know the background of these children.”


Smartphones Making Children Autistic, Warns Experts ! 4.5 5 Josh Murdoch Children struggle to read emotions and are less empathetic than a generation ago because they spend too much time using tablets and smart...

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