As gaming has become more accessible through mobile gaming and the use of new technologies, our research shows that 95% of children and young people (CYP) play video games on and offline.
Young people’s (YP) offline vulnerabilities can be used as a predictor for their online vulnerabilities. YP in this group are vulnerable to all high-risk online scenarios
How online gaming can be different for CYP with SEND – and the benefits, risks, and challenges they face.
From our research, we know that CYP with SEND experience greater harm online:
Gaming can offer all CYP the ability to socialise, be creative, and build-up core skills. However, for those with additional learning needs, there is a need to give them extra support to spot potential online risks.
Many gamers use personas and so can make it harder for CYP to know who they are playing with and what their true intentions are. There are also ways that people interact on games that may impact their wellbeing such as the use of griefing (a type of bullying) used to win games.
Although there are no direct links between violent behaviour offline and video games it’s still important to know how video games affect CYP. CYP with Autism Spectrum Disorder tend to engage in restricted and repetitive behaviors As a result, they might be at higher risk for developing addictive game play patterns.
Be aware of the content in the games they play and using PEGI ratings to identify which games are age-appropriate is also key.
Here are a few things to think about to support CYP:
See related advice and practical tips to support children online: