Autism and social media are topics that require a good deal of thought. With the many dangers of social media, you want to move forward carefully if you have an autistic child who wants to be online. Children with autism online are going to need some direction to help them navigate this space. However, with these autism and social media tips, your child will develop the skills and self-confidence to manage this technology. Please reach out to EMIT Therapeutics today at 844.983.0240 if you need assistance with this aspect of parenting.
Teach Boundaries and Limits
If you have a child with autism online, you want to teach some boundaries and limits. They will need the skills to set boundaries if there are unkind or inappropriate things happening with social media. Also, learning to say “no” may be necessary because autistic children (as well as other children) are sometimes vulnerable to scams and people who want to take advantage of them.
It may be difficult for your child to stop participating in online activities such as social media. Limiting their time on social media will help them not spend too much valuable time online, and it will help prevent addiction.
Consider Waiting Until Your Child Is Emotionally Mature
Some parents may want to prevent their children from using social media altogether until they are older and more emotionally mature. This practice could protect them from some online bullying that can take place. Your child may struggle to identify inappropriate online behavior and, therefore, be taken advantage of or bullied. However, if you decide you want your child to learn how to manage this area of technology now instead of later, then there are ways to keep them safe and protected.
Monitor Your Child’s Usage
One way to keep your child safe and make sure they are not getting into anything they shouldn’t is to monitor their online usage. You can do this with any of the parental monitoring apps that are available. As you observe the situation, if you see anything that isn’t appropriate, it will provide an opening for you to discuss the situation together. You can let them know what was improper about the interaction and how to be safe.
If you decide to monitor your child’s usage, it’s best to let them know about it. You don’t want to be secretive or do it behind their back. This practice will only cause friction and a lack of trust.
Use Social Stories to Explain Appropriate Behavior
Some situations are challenging to explain to a growing child with autism. They think and communicate differently from many other people, so you may struggle to teach them appropriate social media usage. Using social stories are a helpful way to explain difficult concepts to your child. A social story is a simple illustration that models the appropriate way to handle something difficult. The “story” is similar to a comic strip but with large pictures, so it’s easy to see and few or no words. It shows the appropriate way to handle challenging or confusing situations.
There are some social storybooks available, but you can customize your own to fit the situation.
Autism and Social Media Tips at EMIT Therapeutics
At EMIT Therapeutics, our compassionate, professional therapists are adept at working with children dealing with autism and social media challenges. We provide evidence-based therapies to help children overcome the hurdles in their lives. Some of these programs include:
Children and parents work hand in hand to learn strategies to create a peaceful home.