Claims that technology is making children autistic are unfounded

Here we go again. Recently, British newspapers: The TelegraphThe Independent and The Metro (a paper given out free on public transport right across the United Kingdom) all ran with the same diabolically misinformed headline that, “Smartphones are making children borderline autistic.”

Ed Yong’s (justifiably profane) response sums up the feeling of anyone who has looked into headlines such as these before. The cheerleader for the “technology causes autism” hypothesis, professor Susan Greenfield has been handed smackdown after smackdown by experts in their fields including Dr. Ben Goldacre and professor Dorothy Bishop(and half of the scientists on Twitter). One particularly obvious flaw in Greenfield’s hypothesis was that autism appears long before children begin using computers (or smartphones for that matter).

Swedish twins just published in the British Medical Journal, found no evidence of any recent increase in the symptoms that are commonly associated with autism, once again attributing the changes in autism prevalence to administrative changes in how we diagnose and register prevalence of autism; providing yet more evidence (as if we needed more evidence) that this whole affair is one big wild goose chase.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: No, Smartphones Aren’t Making Children Autistic

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