Smartphones are making children borderline autistic, expert says

Metro

(Picture: Getty Images) A large amount of time spent in virtual environments is hindering emotional development (Picture: Getty Images)

Children who spend a lot of time immersed in their smartphones are displaying borderline ‘autistic’ behaviour, a top psychiatrist has said.

Iain McGilchrist, who was an award-winning essayist and a teacher of literature at Oxford before becoming a doctor, said young children are finding it more difficult to read facial expressions or show empathy compared to previous generations, with some teachers saying that up to a third of pupils – some as young as five – are struggling to understand emotions and maintain attention.

And Dr. McGilchrist told the Telegraph that the virtual environments afforded to children by smartphones and other technology doesn’t require them to interpret ‘the subtle cues of real-life environments’ – leading to impaired emotional development akin to some forms of autism.

[metro-link url=”http://metro.co.uk/2015/02/03/smartphones-are-making-teenagers-depressed-study-finds-5048072/” title=”Smartphones are making teenagers depressed, study finds”]

(Picture: Getty Images) Some teachers have said up…

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