Managing screen time with autism
The pandemic changed how Jenny and her husband Drew approached technology and balancing screen time with their children. “When lockdown happened, we let the boys have XBoxes in their room to talk to their friends and have virtual parties,” Jenny explains. “Before that, we had no technology in bedrooms or after 6pm but relaxing the rules was actually really great.”
Having one child on the autism spectrum means that they need to monitor screen time quite carefully, especially with school exams on the horizon. There’s a constant balance to be struck between laying down the law and allowing her child to develop the skills he needs to self-regulate his screen time.
“My youngest is on the spectrum and struggles to stop once he’s on a screen because he uses it as a way to avoid situations or jobs that he doesn’t want to engage with,” says Jenny. “We did think about taking technology out of his room as we were finding he was up very late playing games online, then not getting up to do schoolwork the next morning. But over time, we think he is starting to regulate himself better and allocate some time each day to school before he plays games.”
Learn more about balancing screen time with expert tips.
Consuming news stories
Jenny says that her teenagers are past the days of watching Newsround. Instead, they get most of their news from apps and streaming services. “It’s more important now that we talk about fake news and what makes for a reliable source of information, and how to check if things you see online are true,” she says.
Learn more about fake news and misinformation with our advice hub.