Autism, ADHD and video game use

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Video games can become addictive- especially for kids.  But, a new study finds boys diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder or attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder spend much more time playing video games than their typically developing peers.

Tom Frazier, Ph.D. of Cleveland Clinic Children's said, “We have to be really careful about role-playing games, in particular, but video games, in general because these kids need to be learning social interaction. They shouldn’t be in front of a screen paying attention to a screen. They need to be out talking to people, sitting at the dinner table talking to their family, and learning these skills.“

University of Missouri researchers studied nearly 150 children.

they found boys with A-S-D and A-D-H-D had more in-room access to video games and were at greater risk for addictive video game use.

inattention was associated with problematic game use in boys with A-S-D and A-D-H-D.

A preference for role playing games was tied to problematic game use among boys with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Researchers say the results show a need for a heightened awareness and assessment of problematic video game use for children with A-S-D and A-D-H-D.

Dr. Frazier says it’s o-k for parents to allow their children to play video games if they’re used appropriately.

“And the appropriate way is not just limiting it, it’s actually using this thing that the child really likes, and enjoys, and wants to do-." Said Frazier, "it’s very visually appealing to the child, but using it more as reinforcement for the other things that they should be doing.”