Scares, panics, and challenges

Advice for Parents & Carers

Learn more about the difference between risks and harm for your child as they navigate their online world.

Understanding risk and harm online

Being online can be a hugely enjoyable experience and can help your child develop their social and emotional skills, but as a parent of a child with Special Educational Needs & Disabilities (SEND), you may already be concerned about the issues they can be exposed to.

Risk does not always lead to harm

Although your child may be at a higher risk, it’s important to remember that risk does not always turn into harm. Being exposed to risk is also an important part of learning, and it is impossible to remove all the risks your child may face by using technology alone.

It’s likely that your child may talk to strangers online while gaming or in a group chat, or may experience negative comments, but the key thing is to make sure they know how to recognise warning signs to stop it turning into harm.

You’re not alone

If you are concerned your child is experiencing an issue, you are not alone, research shows that parents of children with SEND are three times as likely to report something that bothered or upset their child.

Getting ready to take action

Although it’s impossible to imagine every situation your child might find themselves in, being prepared with ready-made action plans to support your child is essential.

To help you address some of the common online risks, we’ve provided practical steps on how to support your child.