Social Media Dangers PT1

PART 1 (in a Four part post)

⚠️The Dangers of Social Media and our Neurodivergent children.

(This information will be split up in 4 parts on different days because it’s very lengthy.)

💬Many of the comments on these posts are my personal opinions on what I have found to be true in my family. I have shifted my thinking in many areas throughout my journey being a mom to an Autistic, demand avoidant (PDA)child. Your views may not match mine and that’s ok. I just feel completely Led to share our personal experiences and information. Everyone’s experiences are different.

💕In this post and subsequent posts coming in the days ahead, I have included detailed information on many sites and other information you may not know about. It’s lengthy but I hope it can help. The main focus of these posts are about CHAT platforms and the devices we use. I get wordy, be prepared and Hang on!

😵‍💫2020 and the dreaded pandemic brought more issues than I ever thought were possible.

💻It was a time when computer devices were mandatory in order to access school. It was a time when our children were lonely and in need of connection. It was where social media boomed and in person meetings tanked. It was the time of the computer, the iPad, the cell phone and it has continued on to the present.

🔥I’m here to shed some light and educate those that don’t know, on some dangers that are lurking amongst some of these platforms and how they can affect our vulnerable children.

🔥First of all, let me tell you that I have had to put out fire after fire when it has come to certain platforms. I thought my child’s device was completely locked down and when I did allow certain platforms I had no idea it was so much more. I only knew the half of it.

🔥Social media has the potential to cause anxiety and depression amongst our neurotypical youth. The effect it may be having on our neurodivergent youth can be so much more intense. Many of our kids are already struggling with emotional regulation without social media. Our children are also incredibly vulnerable and easily influenced. Add social media into the mix and it’s a hurricane that destroys over and over again.


🔥Know that if your child has a school issued computer, there is Nothing safe about them when they arrive home. Their device is open to the world. They are only locked down and monitored through the schools Wi-Fi. We had to turn internet connection off completely when we found this out. It’s a parents responsibility to block sites on their own Wi-Fi and this can get complex. We opted to have the computer left at school at the end of the school day and the school has been very supportive.

🔥The issue for us was mainly the Chats. Private Chatting platforms are NOT safe. They are Not safe for our kids ever. They may seem innocent until that one inappropriate ‘being’ comes along and then it’s no longer a safe or peaceful space. Our kids are so starved for acceptance and attention they will do the unthinkable and let’s just say, give out their personal phone number? Despite educating our kids on online safety, they may cave into pressure and do the exact opposite with what we have drilled into them. Why? That thing called the prefrontal cortex. It’s still in ‘cave man mode.’

🥺But my child is anxious and introverted, they need this interaction.

🔥Some parents of ND( neurodivergent) kids feel it’s a positive for their kids to connect online. It makes them happy. They feel safe because there is no face to face interaction. There is no anxiety and or demands associated with meeting in person. Unless you can hear or read what the conversation is about, it’s dangerous, Period. Our children are becoming stuck in a fantasy world much of the time, and while this can be a positive sensory escape some of the time, it’s not healthy long term. Chatting with strangers is a fantasy world. Call me unpopular, but I have been there. I drank the coolaid that said online friendships can be helpful for my autistic child. I was wrong. Our children need real world interaction and in person relationships. Denying this is like them being held hostage with no forward motion. Yes our kids need downtime but not with strangers. Remember my opinions? There ya go! 🤪

I’m not saying our kids should never be able to interact with others online. I’m just saying that we need to know Who they are or where they are interacting. Also, Public chat ‘comments’ are different than Private chats. When kids post something everyone can see publicly, it’s not likely they will give out their phone number or other very personal information. It’s different.


🔥We have all made mistakes. I thought I was doing things right by giving my child a kids phone with No web browser, no way to group text, no way to open links and no way to send or receive photos. The phone wasn’t perfect though. Any phone number could be added without permission and any phone number could call it including spam calls. Great “safe” phone, huh…

Private chat platforms seem Safe to kid as they get to know their new ‘friend.’ They feel connected, understood and special and this is when phone numbers, addresses and even full names can be revealed. Remember many of our children are starved for friendships and acceptance.

🔥So, upon seeing some sketchy texts and chats, my husband and I decided to take some drastic measures and ditch the I-Pad, deactivate my child’s phone and start over with a new device and number. The new phone enables us to see texts, photos, and to pre-approve phone numbers all remotely on an app connected to our personal phone. No web browser, no links, but a way to enable screen time controls all without accessing the actual device. I researched 4 different so called kid phones and found one that meets our personal safety needs.

🔥Not all kid phones are Safe nor are certain platforms that offer chat rooms. We need to do our homework before we say yes to these things. How I have learned.

Part 2 coming Tomorrow about what we got rid of, replacements that were made and other stuff…


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