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J Autism Dev Disord. 2008 Sep;38(8):1499-508. doi: 10.1007/s10803-007-0527-5. Epub 2008 Feb 22.

Electronic screen media for persons with autism spectrum disorders: results of a survey.

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  • 1Center for Communication Enhancement, Children's Hospital Boston, Boston, MA, USA.


Social and anecdotal reports suggest a predilection for visual media among individuals on the autism spectrum, yet no formal investigation has explored the extent of that use. Using a distributed questionnaire design, parents and caregivers report on time allotted toward media, including observable behaviors and communicative responses. More time was spent engaged with electronic screen media (ESM) than any other leisure activity. Television and movie viewing was more popular than computer usage. Across media platforms, animated programs were more highly preferred. Prevalent verbal and physical imitation was reported to occur during and following exposure to ESM. Clinical implications to strategically incorporate ESM into learning approaches for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are provided.

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