Texas Classrooms Expose Young Children to Harm With Addictive Digital Screens
By Carole Hornsby Haynes, Ph.D. November 3, 2018
Despite the evidence that digital screens can harm children mentally, developmentally, and academically, the TEA is pushing addictive digital programs into district and open charter schools for grades pre-K through 8.
Classroom technology not only leads to worse academic performance for kids, it can also clinically hurt them. Two hundred peer-reviewed studies have connected screen time to increased ADHD, increased aggression, anxiety, screen addiction, depression, and even psychosis. Children under 10 are especially susceptible to screen addiction.
A two-year study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed students who used several types of digital media several times daily were twice as likely to have ADHD as classmates who were less frequent users.
Adolescent psychiatrist Dr. Victoria Duncley believes that interacting with screens overstimulates a child and is a possible cause for the 40-fold increase in pediatric bipolar disorder from 1994-2003, and the 800 percent increase in ADHD from 1980-2007.
Children who have ADHD are required by schools to take medication to control their behavior. Public schools are ignoring the research about higher rates of ADHD due to exposure to digital screens and are moving increasingly toward online learning with teachers merely being facilitators.
Public education must share the blame for increasing rates of ADHD.
A brain imaging study by Indiana University School of Medicine also finds that video game playing alters the brain in the same way that drug addiction does.
Neurologist and Oxford professor Baroness Susan Greenfield believes that video game addiction can cause a form of “dementia” in children.
A recent study by Jean Twenge, psychology professor at San Diego State, reports that children who use electronics excessively may fail to develop normal communication skills, including conversational and listening skills and making eye contact.
The development of social skills may also be impaired, including the ability to make face-to-face friends, take responsibility for actions, follow verbal directions, display self control, use polite language, display good manners, and develop empathy for others.
As student screen time is increased, we can expect more mental health issues and impaired development of social skills.