Attachment Disorder and Early Media Exposure: Neurobehavioral symptoms mimicking autism spectrum disorder

J Med Invest. 2018;65(3.4):280-282. doi: 10.2152/jmi.65.280.


Many studies have reported many adverse effects of children's use of media. These effects include reduced cognitive development and hyperactivity and attention disorders. Although it has been recommended that child be kept away from the media during the early developmental period, many modern parents use the media as a way to calm their children. Consequently, these children lack the opportunity to form selective attachments by reduced social engagement. These children's symptoms occasionally mimic autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, few studies have examined the symptoms children develop with early media exposure. Here, we present a boy exposed to the media during his early development who was diagnosed with attachment disorder. He was unable to make eye contact and was hyperactive and had delayed language development, like children with ASD. His symptoms improved dramatically after he was prevented from using all media and encouraged to play in other ways. After this treatment, he would make eye contact, and talked about playing with their parents. Simply avoiding the media and playing with others can change the behavior of a child with ASD-like symptoms. It is important to understand the symptoms caused by attachment disorder and early media exposure. J. Med. Invest. 65:280-282, August, 2018.

Keywords: attachment disorder; autism spectrum disorder; media; television.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Electroencephalography
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Mass Media
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Play and Playthings / psychology
  • Reactive Attachment Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Reactive Attachment Disorder / etiology
  • Reactive Attachment Disorder / psychology