Meryl Alper, PhD (Associate Professor of Communication Studies, Northeastern University), discusses considerations for parents of neurodiverse children in introducing and allowing smart devices at #AskTheExperts webinar “Ready, Set, Smartphone: A Guide for Families” on August 23, 2023.
[Dr. Meryl Alper] So some unique considerations for parents of neurodivergent kids and thinking about getting their child a mobile communication device. One of these — and I say mobile communication device to be inclusive of objects like smartwatches — so whether a smartphone is the right device at all, or perhaps a smartwatch, an autistic child, though, might have sensory sensitivities that can make wearing a smartwatch challenging. But parents might still have really valid concerns about their autistic child not being able to be located, finding themselves in a very dangerous situation that the parent isn’t there to see. And so being able to locate them might not be being a helicopter parent, but it could be legitimately lifesaving.
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How should families determine whether a child is “ready” for a smartphone?
Elizabeth Englander, PhD
Director; Professor of Psychology
Meryl Alper, PhD
Associate Professor of Communication Studies
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Devorah Heitner, PhD
Elizabeth Milovidov, PhD, JD