At the HDS Foundation, our goal is always to provide resources that currently relate to what is happening in our community. Due to COVID, our B.R.I.D.G.E.S. students are learning how to build the skills that fall under each letter in our B.R.I.D.G.E.S. Program: Budgeting, Resource, Independence, Development, Growth, Empowerment, and Social. 

Below are a few tips that provide an explanation on why it is important for students to be socially active with friends and classmates during virtual learning. When it comes to socializing virtually, students need to be aware of not only the benefits, but the risks that come along with social media.  This will also allow students the opportunity to practice their independence skills by interacting with friends via various social platforms. 

Parent Tips: Benefits and Risks of being online…important to research platform that your son or daughter will be using. 

  • Teens and young adults with ASD may find that it is easier to initiate interactions via social media than face-to-face interactions 
  • Access to support groups 
  • Connection to peers with shared interests 
  • Opportunities to practice interactions that will improve real-life communication skills 
  • Impulsive texts/posts can be sent which could have consequences and leave a digital footprint 
  • Exposure to inappropriate material 
  • Exposure to predators 
  • Cyberbullying 
  • Social anxiety/unrealistic expectations 
  • Not understanding the “rules” for social networking. 

 Tips for Keeping your Teen Safe: 

  • Check that the app that your child is using is age-appropriate 
  • Make sure your child does not share personal details online 
  • Encourage your child to play fairly and treat others with respect 
  • Using parental controls, choose times of day when they can log on. 
  • Monitor your child’s account for any potential hurtful comments  
  • Monitor and filter whom they are connecting with, within reason 
  • Explore many social platforms until your child find the one they feel most comfortable utilizing. 

For more resources, please follow our HDS FoundationFacebookInstagram, and Twitter pages: @hdsfoundation.