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Pediatric Therapy Corner: Contrary to Claims, Not All Media Is Bad For Kids Under 12

Editor’s Note:  This article is a rebuttal to the article we shared last week in our Worth Repeating column, entitled “10 Reasons Why Handheld Devices Should Be Banned for Children Under the Age of 12”. Another excellent rebuttal can be found here:  10 Reasons Why We Need Research Literacy, Not Scare Columns
PediaStaff wishes to thank Barbara Chamberlin, PhD, and Professor at New Mexico State University,  for reaching out to us to suggest that we remove the article from residence on our site –  and for providing these excellent rebuttal articles that demonstrate the folly of the article’s author’s research.   In her words: 

“One of the downsides to our ‘anyone can blog’ world is that without the formal gatekeepers previous held by editors, *anyone* can post facts and quote ‘research’, without being accurate. It *seems* valid, so readers assume it is.  In this case, enough people responded highlighting the inaccuracies, it’s encouraging to see the benefit of a community of editors.”

by Scott Traylor of the Fred Rogers Learning Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media
It’s been quite a week in the children’s media world. While preparing for the week ahead last Sunday, I noticed an article on Huffington Post that was spreading virally through my friends on Facebook. The article was a call to ban all hand-held devices from children under the age of 12. Backing up the claim, the author cited a long list of research on why kids should not engage with screen media at all.
Unfortunately, she misread much of the research by making that cardinal error in research of confusing correlation with cause. For example, several studies have looked at ADHD and media use with children, and some have found a link between the two. But that doesn’t mean media causes ADHD. Maybe instead children who have been diagnosed with ADHD have a greater interest in media consumption, or there might be some third unknown factor that is the real root of the problem. This mistake is an all too often occurrence, especially with many sensational headline seeking journalists.
On top of this, she offered not a single mention of anything positive about screen media.
Shortly after the article was posted, two great responses to this piece were published. The first was by David Kleeman, Glenda Revelle and Jessica Taylor Piotrowski entitled 10 Reasons Why We Need Research Literacy, Not Scare Columns and the second was by Melinda Wenner Moyer of Slate called Hands Off My Kid’s iPad: A Huffington Post Blogger’s Shaky Case for Banning Hand-held Devices for Children. Both articles go through the original claims, piece by piece, and demonstrate what is wrong with the original argument.
Read the Rest of this Article on the Fred Rogers

PediaStaff hires pediatric and school-based professionals nationwide for contract assignments of 2 to 12 months. We also help clinics, hospitals, schools, and home health agencies to find and hire these professionals directly. We work with Speech-Language Pathologists, Occupational and Physical Therapists, School Psychologists, and others in pediatric therapy and education.


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