Beginning of Our Technology Detox Week

Austism is a common topic in this era compare to 2 or 3 decades ago but it never trigger any curiousity in me until the people me around me are affected, it worries me. My perception of Austism is that it is generally related to technology usage, environment, genetic, and vaccine. I'm recently exposed to a lot of Autism related conversation because of the enquiries from parents that i worked with and readers on how can they incorporate Montessori and play into the learning of their austic child. They were also keen to know my thoughts and screen time practice with Lil S at home. That's when i started to research more, autism is one of the fastest growing disorders and the below statistic is alarming… It's at 1:110 in 2009, can't imagine what's the current statistic.

prevalence-graph1
 

I'm struggling to find sufficient Asia Pacific researches on Autism but there are tonnes of info on austism in US, UK and Australia. There is this article dated back in 2015 that caught my attention, it actually dicussed on how Autism and ASD toll is taking its toll and they have listed 11 countries with the highest rates of autism in the worldA jaw dropping facts that i think we all parents should know- 3 out of the 11 countries  isted are from Asia Pacific and Japan which was also listed  as one the countries with the best health in the world topped the chart with Autism rate of 181.1 cases per 10,000 people

Facts about Autism

  • ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) is almost 5 times more common in boys than in girls​ 
  • Autism now affects 1 in 68 children and 1 in 42 boys
  • Autism is the fastest growing disorder in United States and it is growing at 14% per year
  • If one identical twin is diagnosed with autism, the other twin has about 90% chance of develop an autistic disorder
  • One in 10 extremely premature infants tested positive for autism. Children who are born more than three months early have double the expected rate of autism
  • Children with autism do progress – early intervention is key. Autism is treatable, not a hopeless condition
  • It is estimated that as many as 1/3 of individuals with autism spectrum disorder also have epilepsy. 

Austism are often relates to technology and screen time among children and when i look back into our routines, Lil' S screen time has increased tremendously the past 4-5 months. She's getting an average of 3 hours screen time perday- 1.5 hour TV time and 1.5 hour Ipad/ Iphone (youtube) time as compare to before where it's only 30 mins TV time for kids program such as Hi5 or Pororo. That's when i decide that we need to look into our screen time and look into a possibility for technology detox for her. I plan to cut back on her ipad and tv time combined to just an hour a day and fill her day with more montessori activity which i sort of slack the past 2 months because of my busy schedule with my new consultancy business. Meetings occupied most of my time and i end up switching to my "ad-hoc" nanny; Ipad to help with babysitting while I work without me realizing. We will be starting a new live broadcast soon to talk about Montessori learnings and materials in our Facebook Page soon, it's just in time for me to refocus back into our Montessori practices at home.

Montessori focuses a lot on natural and simple toys that innately enjoyable to children. That also means minimal or no plastic toys with flshing lights or music and this would be perfect for Austistic child.  Usual montessori setup is very minimalistic, cluttered environment means there's too many options and that tends to confuse a child. Our household are montessori and play inspired, i would not vouch to no plastic toys such as Leap Frog or Fisher Price, we do have a reasonable ratio of 20% in our playroom but we do as much as possible avoid those with excessive sounds or too many lights.  I do feel that the minimalistic montessori environment will be able help austistic child to focus more and allow the him to discover their interest as well as to learn at their own pace. 

We will explore further on how Montessori will be able to help an austic child to progress in life on our next post.

 

References
What is Autism? Is Autism and ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) the same thing? http://bit.ly/1ETwOxu

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