Celebrating the wonderful ups and challenging downs of this journey called motherhood...
I am a terrible mother. I got my son hooked on the tablet and phone pretty much since he was a baby. And now that he is 3.5 years old, I think I am seeing the negative repercussions of my poor parenting. My son doesn't recognize his name, when I call him he doesn't look at me. He has speech delays, he cannot string phrases together yet. When I ask him "Do you want milk?", instead of saying "yes" or "no", he just repeats the question back, "Do you want milk?". It really bothers me. Some say children just progress at their own pace and it's tempting to just deny that there is a problem, but my gut is saying that there might be some underlying cause here.
o I went online and researched speech delays and I came across this article, and that's when I realized that there is such a thing as “Virtual Autism,” or autism induced by screens.
According to the article, therapists and researches noticed a trend. Children presenting with autism were spending four or more hours a day watching some kind of screen: television, computer, tablet, or phone. Substantial evidence already exists that screens impede mental health in the young. Study after study tie increased screen exposure to overt screen addiction, ADHD, aggression, and anxiety. Children who spent viewing ≤ 3 hours per day had language delay and short attention span, while children who spent viewing ≥ 3 hours per day had language delay, short attention span, and hyperactivity. My son was probably in virtual land too much that he can't differentiate what's real and what's not. He is not learning real expressions and how to say words because he lacks human interaction.
The article also says that these symptoms can be reversed if you take away screen time! So that's what I'm going to do. I am going to detox my son from all screens and see if he improves after a month. I will be doing updates here in this post so you guys can follow his progress.
If you are concerned about your child's speech development, and you want to boost your toddler's speech, this page provides tools we can use to improve or boost our toddler's speech development.
1 week after - He is really showing some progress! He is cooperating more with potty training and he maintains eye contact more now.