People with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) may find themselves hyperfocusing on video games and streaming, which can lead to neglecting their school work and other important areas of their lives. While it’s important to acknowledge the benefits that digital technology can offer individuals with ASD, it’s also crucial to ensure that they are spending a majority of their time offline, learning nuanced social skills. Here are six tips for parents to help their child with ASD manage their digital habits and prioritize offline learning:
- Set clear boundaries and time limits: Work with your child to set clear boundaries and time limits around their digital use. Create a schedule that balances their digital activities with offline activities such as exercise, socializing, and hobbies.
- Encourage face-to-face socializing: Make sure your child has opportunities to socialize face-to-face with peers, such as through sports teams, clubs, or other extracurricular activities.
- Model healthy tech habits: As a parent, model healthy tech habits yourself. Set aside time to unplug and engage in offline activities with your child.
- Provide engaging offline activities: Provide your child with engaging offline activities, such as arts and crafts, board games, or outdoor activities, that can help build social skills and provide a sense of accomplishment.
- Collaborate with teachers and therapists: Work with your child’s teachers and therapists to identify areas of improvement and develop strategies to reinforce social skills and manage digital use.
- Seek professional help: If you are concerned about your child’s digital habits or social skills development, seek professional help from a therapist or specialist in autism spectrum disorder.
In conclusion, while digital technology can provide valuable resources and entertainment for individuals with ASD, it’s important to ensure that they are not neglecting their offline social and academic development. By setting clear boundaries, modeling healthy habits, and providing engaging offline activities, parents can help their child with ASD balance their digital use and prioritize their social and academic growth.