How to Manage Your Autistic Child’s Screen Time (And your own too)

I enjoy my weekly, Tuesday webinars. They give me a window into the world and offer me the opportunity to reach out and interact with fellow parents and professionals.

 

Recently I did a webinar entitled, How to manage your autistic child’s screen time.

 

We shared the information on various facebook groups, as we routinely do.

On one of the groups, we received the following comments from autistic individuals.

 

Wait what is this seriously an anti screen ad on a group about non speaking autism?
Don’t take away my screen that’s access to my voice.

 

– Saorise Tilton

 

Screens are amazingly beneficial for autistic people

 

– Kitty Bull

 

I’m sharing these here as I promised that I would share their thoughts.
These comments got me thinking, big time.
They brought more clarity into my own thought process.

 

Did we want to limit the use of devices if they’re used for communication or work purposes?

 

The answer is an emphatic ‘No.’

 

If devices come in the way of day to day interactions or become an addiction, would we want to limit them?

 

Yes.

 

So this was the focus of the webinar.
It was well received.

 

Over the past 6 months that I’ve presented webinars, I’ve learned or been reminded of pointers I need to apply in my own life.
The screen time webinar awakened me to some pertinent points.

 

1. What are the side effects of over use?

 

This is something I think about for my children (now adults) and myself too!
Take a look.

 

Untitled

 

 

2. Charge your appliances in a different room while you sleep

 

This is impossible, I thought as I read different articles talking about keeping appliances away at night.

 

My phone lies at my bedside every night. It serves as my alarm too.

But I decided to take the plunge and try it out.

 

It’s been 10 days now. I leave my phone outside in the living room to charge.
Yes, it’s a bit problematic to wake up in time. All I need is a manual alarm clock like we used a few years ago.

 

I must confess that my sleep cycles have improved a great deal. I feel a lot more refreshed on waking up every morning.

 

3. Technoference

 

Have you heard of this word?
It was a first for me.

 

Take a look at what it means.

 

Untitled

 

I decided to implement this.
I thought of all the times, Tanya or Mohit walked into my room to talk to me. I would be so engrossed in my work that they would take a look at me and walk away.

 

Other times, as we talked, the ping from my phone would distract me from the conversation.
I would pick up to check and respond to a message.
Tanya (my daughter) will get up and walk away.

 

When I read about technoference, it hit me badly. It made me realize on how I was missing out on the most important relationships in my life.

 

I decided to keep my phone away while interacting with my family.
It’s worked wonders for us. I’ve had the most interesting, deep conversations and connections with all of them.

 

Why don’t you try it out?
If it helps your relationships, it’s certainly worth it.

 

While presenting this webinar I realized how the use of smart phones has impacted our lives too.
We think about our children and we want to limit their screen time.
How about starting with ourselves, first?

 

After all, we need to be role models, right?

 

Are you willing to take this challenge? It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.

 

The parent who tries to train without setting a good example is building with one hand, and pulling down with the other.

 

– J. C Ryle

 

 

If you would like the pdf of the screen time webinar, drop us an email at saiconnections01@gmail.com

 

 

Kamini Lakhani

Kamini Lakhani is the founder and director of SAI Connections. She has been providing services in the field of autism for more than 25 years and is the authorized director of Professional Training for RDI in India and the Middle East. She is also the mother of a young adult with autism.

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