How much television do you allow your autistic child to watch?

Adrienne - posted on 09/03/2011 ( 7 moms have responded )

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Since my son's diagnosis (with HFA) I have been increasingly worried about him watching television. He's never watched much. Many days he watches nothing. Most days it is less than half and hour but on the weekend he'll watch a whole movie with his brother. I'm so concerned to ensure that he engages in interactive and imaginative play, that it feels like this is wasted time. I'd love to hear from other autism moms.

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Jada - posted on 09/07/2011

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I also think the amount of TV time you're allowing is perfect. Just enough to satisfy, but not enough to spoil :P Your son probably has plenty of time to engage in other kinds of play. I personally give my son a little more TV time so that he's not tearing up the house when I need to get things done.

Juliette - posted on 09/06/2011

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That's amazing he's watching so little. I had to buy a t.v. lock on line to keep her from her obsession of watching hours of t.v.. We even gave our televisions to good will and didn't have one for 2 years. I'm ready to go back to that again.

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Melissa - posted on 09/12/2011

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My 9 and 6 yr old stepsons are both on the spectrum. The 9 yr old was obsessed with Spongebob. He watched it all the time and it sucked him into this world that was very difficult to bring him out of. He would recite episodes all day long. When he was in first grade it became a huge issue because he couldn't focus on any academics....he was too busy reciting spongebob. So, we took everything spongebob out of the house ... videos, toys, cups, EVERYTHING! Spongebob is still not welcome in our home. He recites parts of movies and tv shows still but not to the extent that he did with Spongebob. However, TV and computer are extremely limited in our home. Computer is only used as a reward for eating (he has a very limited diet) .. .and even then, only 15 minutes. Sometimes the TV is off all day long and when they are allowed TV its not for very long.

Eisabeth - posted on 09/09/2011

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When I read Temple Grandin's book, Thinking in pictures, it helped me a lot to understend how I could have an imput with my son. I used drawings, labled stuf in the house and the films, videos and documentarys he sees today are helping him to built very good values for life. ;)

Adrienne - posted on 09/09/2011

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Thank you for these encouraging replies. It is so tempting to just let him watch when he is difficult but I will continue to resist a little. Eisabeth that is a good point that TV is something that he can share with other children. He has seen Toy Story so many times that he can recite great long stretches of the script! Maybe it will help him in the future.

Eisabeth - posted on 09/08/2011

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You are doing a great job. It`s important for him to have something to share about TV programs with the other kids. My 12 years old sun started talking reproducing frases of the caracter Sreck. He saw it many, many times and felt confident to use then when were apropriate.

Katherine - posted on 09/03/2011

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I don't think you are allowing him to watch too much at all. Just make sure you keep up with the interactive activities.
I think you are doing a great job :)

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