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When kids with LD Facebook

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By GreatSchools Staff

Talking about safety

There is one thing most experts agree on: When it comes to teaching kids to use the Internet safely, nothing can take the place of good parent-child communication. It's important for parents to explain to their kids how certain behaviors can lead to problems (such as giving out personal information, meeting people offline or not critically analyzing the validity of a person's identity or information presented on a website). In our next article, we will describe in greater detail the techniques you can use to protect your child online. In addition to talking about safe online communication with your child, you can extend your understanding and awareness of your child's online activity if you:

  • Learn about your child's use of technology, at least to some degree. Don't be afraid of it. You might even find your kids opening up to you if you adopt something such as instant messaging (IM).
  • Do not diminish the importance of your child's communication via technology. It's a social lifeline. Sometimes it's the only way kids communicate with their friends.
  • Walk your talk. Take steps to protect your own online privacy and safety. Be aware of how you use the Internet. Remember: your kids can probably look at your Web-surfing history and cookies as easily as you can theirs!

Extra protection for kids with LD and AD/HD

Raskind offers the following advice to ensure greater online safety for kids with learning and attention problems:

  • Kids with LD may need special guidance due to their particular characteristics and challenges. As a parent, you'll want to tailor your conversation to your child's unique social and emotional makeup, as well as his strengths, challenges and developmental stage - just as all parents do.
  • Ideally, you will teach your kid about online safety and keep the conversation open and honest, yet allow him some freedom online. It's a balancing act.
  • If your child wants to meet an online friend in person, you should be part of that transition process.

Reaping the benefits, avoiding the risks

For many of today's children and teens, using the Internet — and networking online — is an important daily activity. While you as a parent may not have had the same experience as a child, you can play a critical role in teaching your child how to take advantage of the benefits and steer clear of the risks of social networking. In the next article, we will describe in detail various techniques you can use to protect your child online, as well as legislation that is designed to safeguard kids' privacy on the Internet.

Comments from readers

"There are social networking sites that are specifically targeted towards kids that have all the safety precautions that parents want. One site in particular is has monitors and parents and law enforcement officials are also allowed to monitor the site. There is also an online library for kids to learn so there are some educational benefits. Social Networking for kids isn't necessarily a bad thing as long as it is on a site that is safe and secure for kids. "
"This is a GREAT article...I can't wait for the next one!"
"Yes, My son is dyslexic and he has found Facebook. It has opened up a new world for him. He can talk to his friends and spell words wrong. They don't care. He is writing and reading and doesn't think about it. I have total access so I can see whats going on. You as a parent must keep a close eye without being to involved. Dee"
"Extremely interesting and valuable. Thank you for posting this article. There are plenty of parental control products out there that work very well. I actually would suggest taking a look at Ez Internet Timer. No matter how much of a worry wart the parent is, this thing blocks Internet browsers, e-mails, file downloads using ftps, messengers really well. If anyone’s interested check out the site here:"
"The articles you present are very, very useful for me "