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"Virtual autism" is not a recognized medical diagnosis or official assessment. 

The term refers to concerns that excessive screen time and virtual interactions during critical periods of early childhood development could potentially lead to behavioral issues mimicking some symptoms associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

The concept highlights how too much exposure to digital devices/content at a very young age, instead of sufficient real-world experiences and interpersonal interactions, may impair a child's ability to pick up on social cues, develop communication skills, or achieve key developmental milestones typically. However, this is not the same as being clinically diagnosed with ASD.

"Virtual autism" aims to raise awareness about striking a healthy balance between technology use and other facets of childhood learning and growth. It does not suggest that children are literally developing autism from screens, but rather describes a potential pattern of developmental delays if their environment becomes too virtual.

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