Updated Recommendations About Limiting TV for Children
Wednesday, October 26th, 2011
Do not be fooled by advertisements claiming that TV programs or video games are “educational”. About two years behind the French, the American Academy of Pediatrics has just released new warnings about allowing young children to watch TV. “Screen time”, time spent in front of TVs, computers, and video games, offers no educational value to children under the age of 2. On the contrary, it detracts from the children’s ability to engage in age appropriate play and explore the environment.
On October 18, 2011, the New York Times reported that a recent survey found that 90% of parents reportedly allow their children under the age of 2 to watch some form of media.
A recent publication in the journal Pediatrics estimated that for every 1 hour a child is exposed to media, 50 minutes less is spent playing with a parent, and 10% less time engaged in play.
Note that children under the age of 2 are in the midst of a critical period of language development. Children pick up and understand language best when it comes from another person, face-to-face. They do not learn language from videos and TV.
While the American Academy of Pediatrics acknowledged that media is ubiquitous nowadays and many parents rely on screen time for a much-needed break throughout the day, it is incumbent upon parents to limit the amount of screen time children will be permitted.
Furthermore, parents are cautioned against leaving the TV on in the background, since it has been found that it is overly distracting to both children and parents.
This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 26th, 2011 and is filed under Parenting.
Monday, October 17th, 2011
Everyone seeks sensory input throughout the day to remain alert and attentive. As adults, we allow ourselves many opportunities to “recharge our batteries”. For example, many of us drink coffee, chew gum, tap our fingers or feet, doodle, etc. Yet, our children are often not afforded those same opportunities in the classroom to help them stay focused. Some children may be able to suppress those needs until given the chance to move freely during scheduled times of the day, such as recess, physical education, lunch, and snack. However, for children with sensory challenges, the need to satisfy the body’s craving may be so intense that they are unable to focus on anything else until that need has been met.
While some sensory strategies can be difficult (or impossible) to implement in a classroom, providing finger fidgets can be highly effective for children who crave tactile input and need to have something in their hands. Keeping their hands busy will open their minds for learning and concentration.
There are a wide range of fidgets that are available in stores and online. Consult your child’s occupational therapist to help you select what will best suit your child’s needs. For example, if your child craves proprioceptive input, look for stretchy toys and stress balls. If your child craves tactile stimulation, look for fidgets that are textured.
For the classroom, we typically recommend fidgets that do not make noise or light up so that they can remain inconspicuous. In addition, we strongly recommend fidgets that can be placed on a keychain or carabineer to minimize the likelihood of them getting lost, becoming a projectile, or serving as a visual distraction.
Check out the following websites for fidgets: