Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Internet Safety

Since I began writing about safety issue a couple weeks ago, I've learned one big lesson.  I don't know that much about this topic.  Internet safety was the topic for today's post but that only scratches the surface of all the technology safety issues that children and their parents need to be aware.  This is particularly true of children with special needs and learning differences.  Since many of these children have social skills deficits technology helps them connect with others in a more comfortable setting than face to face contact.  With technology they can have interaction with more people than just live in their town or go to their school.  It opens up a wealth of social opportunities.  It also opens up tremendous dangers since these children are at a much greater risk of the dangers lurking beyond the laptop.  What is the answer?

It is a wisdom issue and every family will end up at a little different place on the continuum.  I am going to suggest some websites where you can get more information.  The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children have an extensive section on their website about internet safety.  There is information about basic internet safety for a variety of ages.  There is a section for parents, children and related issues such as chatrooms and text messages.


NetSmartz.org
http://www.netsmartz411.org

For Information from a disability perspective, here are some articles that might be helpful.
http://www.autismspeaks.org/sites/default/files/documents/transition/internet.pdf
http://www.netsmartz.org/specialneeds

These are some tools that may be beneficial.  It's hard to read about some of the things that can happen and I want to impress:  God is our protector.  As we are faithful to learn and teach our children how to stay safe on technology, ultimately, we have to depend on God to keep ourselves and our children safe in all areas of life.  This is not an area that needs to overtake us in fear as that only paralyzes us as parents and people.  Use this information but trust God for his protection in the process.