I get asked a lot about gadgets and Autism, it's a topic that gets discussed a lot in our groups and parents sometimes have a real struggle about whether to allow so much interaction with phones, tablets, computers and tv's or limit it to the bare minimum.
This is a dilemma all parents face with or without Autism and it does come down to common sense and knowing your own child. No one is in any position to criticise peoples choices and there is no right or wrong.
Technology and everything that comes with it does have a place and people on the autistic spectrum do find it relaxing to watch their favourite video on you tube or dvd's galore and interact using social media. Texting and emailing can be easier for someone who finds it hard to socially interact in this big wide world, it can be a way of not having to battle with eye contact or feeling a little uncomfortable being face to face with someone. I find it much easier to communicate with my teccy stuff. I find my anxiety levels rise quite a bit when face to face as I try to work out the right things to say and to process the information some gives back to me. I feel I can't always do it in time and need a bit longer so typing gives me that opportunity and I like the swoosh sound when my emails go off into the big world wide webby place, magically appearing in someones mailbox. It still amazes me.
As parents we can spend too much time wondering whether our kids are on these gadgets too long Of course we need to monitor safety and we want them to enjoy what the rest of the world has to give but we don't want to stop the next Bill Gates from having their moment. Our kids are the future and their future is very different to our past as children. We live in different times and although some people don't like it I'm afraid it involves technology.
My son is happy with his gadgets but is just as happy with some paper and a pencil, drawing and colouring to his hearts content. He likes to walk a lot as well so we have a balance and tend to go with the flow. That sounds like I let him do what he wants doesn't it? Believe me I don't but I've found that finding others ways to discipline and work with him rather than confiscating items and causing unnecessary anxiety tends to work for us. Like everything in our Autism world, we just have to adjust slightly and do things differently.
So if your stressing or wondering what the right thing is to do just try different things and see what works. Mess around with timing and schedules. Make a nice timetable or get kids to set their own reminders on these gadgets to do homework and take time out. They can learn so much from these things and homework, well thats just taken on a whole new lease of life since Google. I wish I had it back in the day to get me through my school work, I might have done a little better. Technology has created some amazing opportunities for people with Dyslexia with the help of voice activated programs amongst many things, my brother who has Dyslexia always thought spell check was a marvellous invention.
I am one for my books on Kindle but do like to swap to a proper book now and again so we can all change our habits and vary what we do with technology. One thing is for sure it isn't going to go away so make of it what you will and just be happy!!!
See you back for more tomorrow with Pass the Remote 'Easter' Sunday.
Every Saturday will be about Autism, family and life.