Screen Time Characteristics and Early-Term Parental Concerns of Children Newly Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder


Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, vol.23, pp.392-401, 2020 (ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 23
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.5505/kpd.2020.23245
  • Journal Name: Journal of Clinical Psychiatry
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Psycinfo, Directory of Open Access Journals, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.392-401
  • Keywords: ASD, screen, early indicators, first concerns, early identification, MEDIA USE, TODDLERS, EXPOSURE, OUTCOMES, RISK, AGE
  • Eskisehir Osmangazi University Affiliated: Yes


Objective: Aim of this study was to explore the screen characteristics of children who have been newly diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and context of initial concerns of parents at the time of the first diagnosis. Method: Fifty-seven ASD and 63 typically developing children were included. Data retrieved from families such as concerns at the time of referal and characteristics that comprised use of electronics were recorded. The Childhood Autism Rating Scale and Autism Behavior Checklist was administered by the clinician to evaluate the symptom severity of ASD. Furthermore, the Ankara Development and Screening Inventory were applied to the children to evaluate the general developmental level. Results: ASD was generally diagnosed around 36th month and parents of these children were found to have suspected of something going wrong regarding developmental characteristics of their children approximately 14 months prior formal diagnosis. Age at index use of electronics was smaller and screen time was higher in children with ASD. It has also been found that families most frequently were referred to the clinician due to problems in communication. Discussion: Our findings suggest children with ASD might be more prone to problematic use of electronics. Smaller index age for initiating use of electronic devices might predominantly affect socioemotional processes negatively. The clinicians should evaluate screen characteristics in these children. Lastly, It is important to encourage parents to report concerns to clinicians for early detection of ASD.