People on the Autistic Spectrum tend to have restricted social lives. Facebook may offer opportunities for the high functioning to develop their social lives and skills, though. Click icon for a guide from iAutistic to the possibilities of Facebook for Aspies, containing discussion and tips.
The National autistic society outlines the background, setting out the risks and benefits of the internet in general for autistic people and their families. See article
There are many aspects to online safety. There is a lot to take in so it would probably be wise to dip in from time to time. We start with an easy reading presentation from Childline.
Here is an interview with Lorin LaFave on Woman’s hour in 2015 about internet safety for children. She lost her son to an online predator and went on to campaign to improve safety measures on social-media. Click icon for interview. It starts 14:53 minutes in. See also: article.
If you are concerned that your child is being groomed online you can report it to a specialist police unit. See: CEOP.
Childline offers some tips for staying safe online that are helpful for social networking. Their website is aimed at under 19’s.
Ambitious about autism looks at the positives of the internet as well as the dangers. They have set out in more detail the soft/people skills needed for online safety.
UK Safer Internet Centre have produced resources to help children, young people, parents and teachers with online safety. Click icon for social media safety. Also, here are some handy tips for parents.
Tips for Facebook
We, at GAIN, are not qualified to give advice but here are a few ideas to consider:
- You need a couple of real life friends to whom you can send Facebook friend requests, in order to get you started. Your Facebook friends need to be sound people that you can trust. If you do not know why then ask someone you trust about it.
- On the plus side, with Facebook you can look around to see what people are saying. This may help you to build up a picture of the social landscape around you.
- On the other hand some may need supervision – if it is suitable at all. For one thing, the official minimum age for Facebook is 13. So it not considered to be suitable for everyone – click play button.
- In case it helps, Facebook offers tools for parents.