Digital citizenship of children and youth with autism: Developing guidelines and strategies for caregivers and clinicians to support healthy use of screens

Yael Mayer, Mor Cohen-Eilig, Janice Chan, Natasha Kuzyk, Armansa Glodjo, Tal Jarus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Children and youth with autism use screens in their daily lives and in their rehabilitation programs. Although parents and clinicians experience specific challenges when supporting positive screen time use of children and youth with autism, no detailed information for this group exists. Therefore, this study aimed to develop clear guidelines that are agreed by expert clinicians and parents of children and youth with autism. Using a method called Delphi, 30 experts-20 clinicians and 10 caregivers, who have experience working with or caring for children and youth with autism were invited to complete a series of three surveys. In each round, the experts had to rate their agreement with statements regarding screen time management. The agreement level was set to 75%. The final themes to be included in the guidelines were accepted by more than 75% of the panel. The final guidelines included six main sections: (1) general principles, (2) considerations for timing and content of leisure screen time use, (3) strategies for caregivers and clinicians to monitor and regulate screen time use, (4) behaviors to monitor for screen time overuse, (5) additional guidelines for clinicians, and (6) resources. The new guidelines developed in this study can provide potential guidance on how to further the development of digital citizenship for children and youth with autism and provide strategies to families to help manage screen time use.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAutism
Early online date24 Aug 2023
DOIs
StateE-pub ahead of print - 24 Aug 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2023.

Keywords

  • autism
  • caregivers and clinicians
  • children and youth
  • digital citizenship
  • guidelines
  • screen time use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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