Internet Access for Children with Autism – The Good, Bad and Ugly Side of it

0 572

An autistic boy has been banned from viewing any online content, due to his addiction to television and computer games by his mother.

Deborah Rhodes, the mother of the autistic child removed and disconnected the devices at her home, to help her autistic son overcome his addiction.

Deborah, who restricted her Autistic son Alvin,11, from accessing the internet

She took this step after noticing her son, Alvin – aged 11 years, spending excessive time which affected his learning and social behaviours.

This step is in contrast with what many experts believe. Most experts encourage children with ASD to go online as it helps them more in socialising and learning new things.

READ: Excess Internet to Blame for ADHD

On the other hand, the ministry of health warns non-autistic children, not to spend more than 2 hours in front of the television.

Previous studies carried around the world by many experts highlight the fact that children within autism spectrum, spend more time on screens than their normally developing peers.

Due to this, they are more prone to get addicted and develop problematic behavior as a result of their activities.

Rhodes, recollected an instance, when her son – Alvin, used to get up secretly after everyone had retired for the day, to play games.

At this point, Rhodes decided to pull off the plug. Alvin was addicted to the video game ‘Minecraft’, the mother recounted.

READ: 7 Mind Simulation Games for Autism

Rhodes said that her son did not have the ability to come up with another engagement when the game was turned off.

His entire physical activity was minimised, he was a lot more tired and generally it took them longer to go to sleep at night

, said Deborah.

After having the screens removed Rhode’s noticed a change in her son’s behavior. He genuinely started to show an interest in his school activities.

The teachers assisted the mother, in monitoring Alvin’s screen activities prescribed in his learning program.

Nevertheless, professionals say that children diagnosed with autism find their online experience as calming. It takes away the anxiety and pressure of actual social interaction, and allows them to associate or involve at their own pace.

Rhodes argues that the games are designed in a way to cause addiction among players,

. . . most of the games and apps are designed to appeal to the autistic brain, and they are coded and written in a way that they understand, so it’s even easier for them to become addicted.

This statement was also supported by Counsellor Mathew McMillan who counsels teenagers and children addicted to online gaming.

Kids with autism and other social issues have been observed to be more comfortable online, engaged in their own world, says McMillan.

As a part of the counseling program, it is important to look at the factors behind the child’s addictive nature and what is motivating them to get obsessed.

Also, one must take into consideration the family dynamics of the child concerned.

Nevertheless, the internet is becoming more than a necessity, like food. However, if you tend to overdo it lands you into a problem.

Dane Duggan, CEO – Autism New Zealand, says though his organization promotes kids with autism being online, it is important on parent’s part to understand what is good for their children.

Duggan says, some of the autistic kids enjoy being online and they are more comfortable with their world on the other side, however, it is the parent’s responsibility to make sure they are using online tools for the right purpose.

Tracking their online activities at an earlier stage can help children in reaching their full potential ad they grow up.

It is also imperative to note that every family is unique, and everyone has a right to decide what is best for their children and family.

RELATED NEWS: The Generation’s Loosing Battle Against Technology Induced ADD

Like it? Share it!
Hide Buttons
Never miss a story on Autism or ADHD.
  We will not share your details with any 3rd party.
The #1 Autism Parenting Magazine
Someone you know has Autism?
2017 (C) All rights reserved.
Thankfully, you have AutisMag!
The #1 Autism Parenting Magazine trusted by more than 22,000 Parents and Educators across 133 countries! Get your FREE Issue Now!
2016 (C) All rights reserved.
Thanks! Are you Ready?
Thanks for your interest! Click the button below to download our latest Issue # 33 of AUTISMAG. I bet you will Love this one :-)
Get the EXACT Tools & Strategies that has helped THOUSANDS of kids like Josh overcome challenges with Autism Spectrum.
Josh is a 7 year old with Non Verbal Autism. He now goes to a regular school in Brooklyn and has 2 good friends .
Thanks! Are you Ready?
I am Ash Bernard, an Autism Coach and the Founder of AutisMag. I have just sent you an email with the course content along with a download link to your first resource.
Make sure you check your Spam folder as well.
Till then, Cheers to your success :-)
Download this 35 Page Detailed PDF Guide that contains:
2018 (C) All rights reserved.
  • Things to keep in mind while Teaching
  • 11 HIGHLY Effective Teaching Strategies
  • Free Teaching Resources
  • 121 PECS Cards