Although children and young people (CYP) with SEND are more at content, contact and conduct risks, risks do not always lead to harm.
Although children and young people (CYP) with SEND are more likely to experience content, contact and conduct risks. Risks do not always lead to harm. It’s likely that CYP may talk to strangers online while gaming or in a group chat, or may experience negative comments, but the key thing is to ensure they know how to recognise warning signs to prevent this turning into harm.
How is socialising online different for CYP with SEND? Interacting with others online through social media or other platforms has become an important part of CYP lives and even more so for those with SEND.
Connecting, creating, and sharing with others online brings a range of benefits which can support a child’s wellbeing, including:
From our research, we know that CYP with SEND experience greater risks when it comes to content, contact or conduct risks. Any child, from any background, can be at risk of the following risks online. But some are more vulnerable than others:
It is important to be aware that:
While most of us feel confident we would not be fooled by somebody pretending to be someone else, eg ‘catfishing’, or sense a person’s questionable intentions, CYP with SEND may find this more difficult to spot. They may be:
Here are a few things to think about to support your child:
Are they ready and equipped to socialise and share online?
See related advice and practical tips to support children online: