Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 38, Issue 8, pp 1499–1508 | Cite as

Electronic Screen Media for Persons with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Results of a Survey

  • Howard C. Shane
  • Patti Ducoff Albert
Original Paper


Social and anecdotal reports suggest a predilection for visual media among individuals on the autism spectrum, yet no formal investigation has explored the extent of that use. Using a distributed questionnaire design, parents and caregivers report on time allotted toward media, including observable behaviors and communicative responses. More time was spent engaged with electronic screen media (ESM) than any other leisure activity. Television and movie viewing was more popular than computer usage. Across media platforms, animated programs were more highly preferred. Prevalent verbal and physical imitation was reported to occur during and following exposure to ESM. Clinical implications to strategically incorporate ESM into learning approaches for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are provided.


Autism Autism spectrum disorders Media Video modeling Observational learning 



We acknowledge the insightful comments by our reviewers and the graduate students who assisted in data collection. We also sincerely thank the families who participated in this project. This study was supported in part by the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (RERC) on Communication Enhancement and based on a grant from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), of the US Department of Education under Grant # H133E030018.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Communication EnhancementChildren’s Hospital BostonBostonUSA
  2. 2.Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  3. 3.MGH Institute of Health ProfessionsBostonUSA
  4. 4.Children’s Hospital BostonWest HartfordUSA

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