Instagram & Autism

Today we live in a world surrounded by social media and I believe it is important that all people are able to use these devices to connect. When it comes to children with autism they have many challenges they must face and today it is important they learn how to navigate through social media. Instagram specifically is an appealing app because it gives the user the ability to share and interact with all different kinds of people. No matter if you are on the spectrum or not it’s a place where people can share and enjoy others interests and photos. It benefits them by helping to focus on their development skills. These skills include: facial recognition, receptive and expressive language skills, and their social skills. Online is a non-threatening environment to be creative and share things you enjoy. Autistic children also benefit from this kind of app due to its visual nature and help improve their level of engagement and their attention span. Although it is a powerful tool to help children work on social skills it can be tough for a child on the spectrum to understand the set up and learn what is to be shared and what is not. This barrier can easily be fixed with understanding the importance of supervision whether that be a parent, guardian, and/or teacher.

Edited: Jessie Gigliotti October 13, 2016
Adults and children alike with Autism work hard in their day-to-day lives interacting socially. There is much question whether social media is helping to support building communities or if it is pushing people to be more isolated with less face-to-face interactions. The social media network Instagram has a variety of benefits as well as barriers when being used by people with Autism. Some benefits include being able to reach out by searching hashtags of photos, following other people, or adding a friend of people who have similar interests to themselves. All this can be done without having to navigate the difficulties of a face-to-face social interaction. With this people are able to find friends who have similar interests as them with out the pressure or anxiety they may feel without the use of social media. The barrier this can create is while the person with autism may feel more comfortable interacting over social media, without the face-to-face interactions it has been found people actually report feeling more lonely. (According to A way to get beyond this barrier may be connecting outside of social media with the people they are following or connecting with. Much support will be needed to help those with Autism in understanding safe relationships and how to transition from a person you’ve met on social media to one you will meet in person.

#autism #socialmedia #technology # instagram