Autism and Cyber Addiction

Autism and Cyber AddictionCyber addiction, also known as internet addiction disorder (IAD), computer addiction and online addiction, is actually an umbrella term for several subsets of computer-based behaviors, including the following:

  • Cybersex– This disorder is characterized by compulsive use of Internet pornography, adult chat rooms or adult fantasy role-play sites.
  • Cyber relationships – This disorder is characterized by addiction to social networking, chat rooms and messaging.
  • Net compulsions – This disorder is characterized by compulsive online gaming, gambling and stock trading or compulsive use of online auction sites.
  • Information overload – This disorder is characterized by compulsive web surfing or database searching.
  • Computer addiction – This disorder is characterized by obsessive playing of off-line computer games, such as Solitaire or Minesweeper.

Regardless of the specific disorder, cyber addiction often results in issues such as the following:

  • Negatively affecting a person’s ability to establish real-life intimate relationships
  • Distancing a person from real-life relationships with family and friends because virtual online friends become more important
  • Causing work-related performance issues
  • Causing financial impacts either due to compulsive online purchases or lower work productivity

These negative implications often cause anxiety or depression, which further diminishes the person’s sense of self.

About Autism

Autism and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are umbrella terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. Behaviors associated with autism include the following:

  • Intellectual disability
  • Difficulties in motor coordination
  • Difficulties with attention
  • Physical health issues, such as sleep and gastrointestinal disturbances

Some people with autism do excel in visual skills, music, math and art.

Signs of Autism

According to National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, a department of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), signs of autism include the following:

  • Loss of language or social skills
  • Poor eye contact
  • Excessive lining up of toys or objects
  • No smiling or social responsiveness
  • Impaired ability to make friends with peers
  • Impaired ability to initiate or sustain a conversation with others
  • Absence or impairment of imaginative and social play
  • Stereotyped, repetitive or unusual use of language
  • Restricted patterns of interest that are abnormal in intensity or focus
  • Preoccupation with certain objects or subjects
  • Inflexible adherence to specific routines or rituals

It may be these particular behaviors that make autistic people susceptible to cyber addiction. Autistic people need to have control over their environment, as demonstrated by excessive lining up of objects and ritualistic adherence to routines. Autistic people also have difficulty forming strong relationships with people. Therefore, the cyber world gives them control over their environment and allows them to decide how much interaction they want to have with others.

More Information about Autism and Cyber Addiction Treatment Services

While there are many questions when it comes to autism and cyber addiction, our admission coordinators have information available and suggestions for other options you can explore to get answers. Please call our toll-free, 24 hour number today.