Magazine article Working Mother

Does TV Trigger Autism?

Magazine article Working Mother

Does TV Trigger Autism?

Article excerpt

The number of children diagnosed with autism has risen sharply in the past few decades. Just 30 years ago, one in 2,500 kids was identified as autistic; today it's one in 166, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Experts have suggested various possible reasons for this increase, including improved diagnosis and even childhood vaccines, but so far a definitive culprit has been elusive. Now, a new study suggests another possible trigger: television.

Researchers at Cornell University examined cable-TV subscription rates in counties in Pennsylvania and California between 1970 and 1990 and found that a rise in subscribers mirrored a rise in autism cases. "We're not saying there's a link between TV watching and autism in all children," says Cornell economist and study coauthor Michael Waldman, PhD. …

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