Virtual autism – a neurodevelopmental disorder or the result of parental neglect?
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Uniwersytet Komisji Edukacji Narodowej w Krakowie, Instytut Pedagogiki Specjalnej, Podchorążych 2, 30-084 Kraków, Polska
Uniwersytet Komisji Edukacji Narodowej w Krakowie, Instytut Psychologii, Podchorążych 2, 30-084 Kraków, Polska
Submission date: 2024-02-17
Final revision date: 2024-04-10
Acceptance date: 2024-05-05
Online publication date: 2024-06-27
Corresponding author
Joanna Monika Kossewska   

Uniwersytet Komisji Edukacji Narodowej w Krakowie, Instytut Pedagogiki Specjalnej, Podchorążych 2, 30-084 Kraków, Polska
Aim. The article is illustrative and presents a description of the virtual autism, which is increasingly observed in public space, and is related to the excessive use of modern technologies. These concerns include the potential effects of children's long-term exposure and interaction with electronic devices and multimedia content that is not developmentally appropriate. Methods and materials. The data collection method was searching secondary sources, and the content analysis was done. The article was written mainly on the basis of psychological literature. Results and conclusion. Based on contemporary literature on the subject, the characteristics and conditions of this phenomenon were analyzed. There is no scientific consensus on whether or how exposure to digital technologies may cause virtual autism, but the harmful effects of digital devices on development during infancy and middle childhood cannot be underestimated. Due to the similarity of behavioral characteristics, virtual autism can be identified with autism spectrum disorders, the genetic mechanisms of which and their implications for the neuroatypical development path have been briefly described in order to illustrate the differences between the analyzed phenomena. While neurodevelopmental factors are central to understanding autism, it is important to note that parental neglect in itself is not considered a direct cause of autism. However, the social environment and early experiences may influence the manifestation and severity of symptoms in people with ASD. At the end, postulates for parenting practice are presented, the implementation of which may contribute to reducing the risk of virtual autism and at the same time increasing the development potential of modern children.
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