(Picture for representational purpose only. — AFP)
KUALA LUMPUR: Allowing children between the ages of one and six to play with gadgets, such as smartphones without any supervision, can make them vulnerable to mental disorders and one such disorder so-called ‘Pseudo-Autism’.
Early Childhood Education specialist, Dr Putri Afzan Maria Zulkifli said ‘Pseudo-Autism‘ was similar to Autism, meaning that these children suffering this disorder, is lacking in social skills and seemingly live in their own world.
She said this could be the result, if children spent too much time playing with gadgets and watching television.
“Age one to six is a critical time in the development of children’s neurons, but when there is a lack of physical activity and interaction, it impedes the growth of their brain which should grow up to 90% during the period,” Dr Putri told Bernama after appearing as a guest on the Nine11 programme broadcast on Bernama News Channel, in one of their episodes.
She shared that neurons which are not fully developed or utilised would die, thus creating various complications for the children involved.
Dr Putri also shared that apart from ‘Pseudo-Autism‘, other complications which can occur includes failure to think sanely, lacking in creative thinking, being unable to interact and speak well, which will impede the development of emotions and intellect.
“In a worst case scenario, it will put these children into a situation where they are unable to control their feelings or properly manage stress, causing depression,” she added.
Hence, she advised parents to control their children’s use of gadgets and instead, engage them by planning out other activities which were more appropriate for their age to stimulate the development of neurons, including emotional and intellectual development.
“Parents can still allow their children to use gadgets, but only for up to one hour per day for children aged one to three, and a maximum of two hours per day for those aged four to seven,” she added.