EDUCATION CENTER

  • Dr. Amber Brooks

Keeping your ASD Child Safe Online

Internet Child Safety - How to protect your ASD Child from danger

The internet, gaming, and social media open doors to knowledge, entertainment, and relationships. However, this form of connectedness doesn't come without risks: inappropriate content, cyberbullying, and exploitation. Keep your kids safe from these dangers with the following tips on internet child safety.


What are the potential dangers?

The Internet brings with it a myriad of opportunities for kids with autism, who can use it to do homework or connect socially in ways that would not have been possible before. Unfortunately, it also comes with a host of potential dangers that we need to be aware of and prepared for, including inappropriate content (text, images and videos), cyberbullying and exploitation.


Cyberbullying

Experts agree that children with autism are more vulnerable to cyber-threats than their peers without an ASD diagnosis. Their vulnerability is due in part to difficulties with social interaction, so they are likely to lack impulse control. Additionally, because they often lack typical emotional responses and may struggle with empathy, children on the spectrum may also be insensitive or unaware of how what they say or do affects others—so they aren’t as inclined as most people would be to avoid hurtful behavior.


Inappropriate Content & Exploitation

While it’s tempting to leave them on their own, you should monitor what they’re doing online and who they're talking with. You can control many of your child’s online experiences. You are able to adjust settings on devices and software, including online games and apps, social media accounts, and other content that a child could access. Make sure these controls are set as you would like them. Be mindful of how much time kids spend in front of a screen (however it is accessed), too.


  • Set clear limits on internet use, including the amount of time, times of day internet can be used and specific websites: Bark | CyberPatrol | Circle | Qustodio

  • Manage privacy settings and block inappropriate material using internet filters and special browsers (e.g., Google Family Safety Center).

  • Discuss the differences between facts and opinions online, such as when encountering comments and posts on social media that may be upsetting.

  • Have frequent discussions about internet safety including:

  • Dangers and consequences of visiting inappropriate websites.

  • Information that should never be provided to strangers online (e.g., date of birth, address, personal images).

  • Make it clear that your child should not meet online contacts in person.

  • How to identify and respond to cyberbullying.

  • Remind your child that they are not in trouble for reporting inappropriate content or online interactions

  • Utilize privacy settings and parental controls

  • Turn on “SafeSearch” in Google

  • Regularly check your browser search history

  • Keep a list of your child’s user names and passwords

  • Check user names and passwords often


Learning more/ Additional Internet Safety Resources:

Protecting a child with autism against exploitation: it’s more than just taking computer and phone access away. It's also about setting boundaries and being vigilant of what they're doing on their devices and how they're spending their time online. Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to keeping a child with autism safe online.

About

Dr. Amber Brooks- Autism & Special Needs

Dr. Amber Brooks FNP, CACCP, BCIP, DC is a pediatric expert bridging alternative and traditional

medicine by providing individualized and comprehensive approaches to pediatric wellness. Her experience is unique, as she is Board Certified in Integrative Pediatrics, Board Certified as a Pediatric Chiropractor, a Family Nurse Practitioner and Craniosacral Therapist.

Dr. Amber Brooks FNP, CACCP, BCIP, DC.pn

Dr. Brooks FNP, CACCP, BCIP, DC has been extremely successful in assisting her patients in achieving optimal health and wellness by using the best integrative methods to help support their growing bodies. She provides traditional and alternative medicine for maximal health. Dr. Brooks has developed specialized methods to answer today's biggest pediatric health problems including allergies, constipation, chronic ear infections, birth trauma, developmental delays, digestive problems, Autism, ADD/ADHD, MTHFR, nutritional, and behavioral problems.

Dr. Amber Brooks FNP, CACCP, BCIP, DC has extensive experience solving complex pediatric and unique perspective of diagnosing the problem rather than treating the symptoms has led to 

remarkable results worldwide. Parents praise her current, yet practical, guidance to what a child is struggling with and tools to help the family improve their child's future health.

publications, appearances, & awards