Children’s overuse of screen time has become a pandemic, even more so during COVID-19, as quarantining and social distancing have increased screen time use. Children with autism spectrum disorder are even more vulnerable when it comes to technology use. They spend more time with screens, and they usually choose isolated activities such as watching videos. Extensive use of screens has many harmful effects, including aggressive behaviour, poor management of emotions, sleep problems, obesity, and engagement in risky behaviours. The ways to decrease risks for children with autism are still unknown.
Currently, there aren’t any clear guidelines on managing screen time for parents and clinicians of children with autism. The existing guidelines do not include clear strategies and are based only on studies of typically developing children. Therefore, the purpose of this project is to create clear and applicable screen time guidelines for parents and clinicians of children with autism. We will collaborate with parents and clinicians to develop strategies and recommendations for using screen time properly and decreasing the risks of screen time misuse among children with autism.