Did you see the headline a couple of weeks ago?
"Baby Einstein toys do not make your kids smart. "
Disney is actually offering refunds to everyone who bought Baby Einstein toys for like the last decade.
Now, while they haven’t really come out and said, “By the way, these things don’t work the way we’ve been telling you.” It is kind of a – I think someone used a phrase “a tacit admission,”---meaning, yeah, they probably don’t do what we said they do.
I’ve been warning people for years to stay away from these things, but not because I don’t want your kid to be smart.
It’s because these things are basically an electronic baby sitter.
But what most people don’t understand is that they do have a profound impact on the brain, but maybe not the one that you were hoping.
I’ll just take a second and explain this to you.
You know your child has a right side and a left side of their brain. Each responds to different stimulation.
The right side of the brain likes low frequency stimuli--for example things that don’t blink or flash. Nature, I think is a great example of a right brain stimulation.
Now the left side, it likes high frequency stimulation and the best example I can give you of that is video games or animation, cartoons----all that stuff that you think kids like. That has a real large left brain stimulation.
Here’s why this matters and why it's linked with autism, attention deficit disorders, PDD, Asperger’s...
Those kids that have been diagnosed with those conditions, almost all of them have a right brain delay in many different areas. (Commonly in the frontal lobe or cerebellum). These kids don’t have appropriate attention focus, social skills. You know the syndrome.
We already know from a couple of years ago that there was a study done that says that for every hour of TV that kids are exposed to under about 2 years of age dramatically increases their odds of getting diagnosed with attention deficit disorder.
Now, why is that?
The environmental stimulation that that kid is exposed to can cause the brain to become unbalanced..
If you think of the brain like a muscle---the left side and the right side---when we have a weak muscle such as the right side in these problems...the left side becomes dominant.
That imbalance causes problems, because the left side is all about starting things. It’s about starting movements, starting thought, getting up...you know being motivated.
The right brain is like the brake pedal...stopping movement, stopping thoughts.
You can understand now why all of symptoms occur if you have an imbalance or a weakness in that right side of the brain.
You get gas pedal, and not a lot of brake pedal.
I warned people for the last ten years about these things.
One of the very first things we do with any child that comes into my program for autism or ADHD is they go on an electronics-free diet. (you might consider the same)
You might have heard of a gluten free diet. Well, this is an electronics-free diet. They don’t get to be exposed to TV, video games, computers, those sorts of things, not until they’ve proven that they don’t have a negative effect on them.
You may have noticed that when your child got exposed to these Baby Einstein videos/toys, or animation etc.--- that it makes them excited. It makes them shake. Vibrate with apparent excitement.
You can assume that the kid has probably got a dominant left brain that needs to be calmed down.
If you noticed that your kid zoned out with wide eyes at a Baby Einstein or videos etc.... that’s another very bad thing, because it’s not calming them down. It’s entrancing them.
It’s just like an addict. Like a cigarette smoker. A cigarette smoker goes through nicotine withdrawals. They want another cigarette. When they have one, they say, “Hoo, man, I feel better. I’m calm.”
Well, you’re not calm. You just fed your addiction. In fact, I want to show you something I just thought about, I want to show you. I’m going to turn on my bookshelf here.
There’s a book right here I want to show you. Now, this is "Autism, Effective Biomedical Treatments."
But, what I want to show you – here’s something they’re missing. You ready?
Do you see what he’s doing?
He’s got a video game controller in his hand.(!!)
Now, what I want you to do is, is I want you to see his face..
What is his face look like? He is entranced.
It’s not a good thing for someone that’s on autistic spectrum to be exposed to video games.
The Baby Einstein things are just one flavor of that.
I mean one of the reasons they work on your left brain is they’re about early academic skills, right, reading, writing, arithmetic, those sorts of things.
But, the right brain tells you what to do with it. It gives you your social skills, your nonverbal comprehension, understanding how to read between the lines.
So, if you’re still letting your kid use these things, I really encourage you not to.
You’re going to have to make some changes, I know because one thing people say is, “Well, what do we do with our kid?”
I don’t care what you do with him, as long as you don’t let him me exposed to these electronics. They don’t need them. They learn a lot more by interacting with you..their favorite wooden blocks, those sorts of toys.
They use their imagination. That is much, much better for their brain development and much more appropriate for a child that’s already been diagnosed with autism, ADHD or Asperger’s.
(One of the things we do in my Autism and ADHD programs is work on right brain sorts of activities.)
So, if you bought any of these Baby Einstein products, you might want to go get your refund.
And now you know why these kinds of stimulations can (not guaranteed) be a contributing factor in Autism, Asperger's and ADHD.
And now you understand the implications of these stimulations on your child's brain.mp3 audio file
© 2009 Dr. David Clark
THE PLACE FOR ANSWERS™
Dr. David Clark
Board Certified Chiropractic Neurologist
Vestibular Rehab Specialist