Social Media Use and Autism – Teens and Adults:
Learn research updates on the impact of social media use on teens and adults with autism
20 September 2023, 1 p.m. Eastern Time (U.S.)
Pamela Wisniewski, PhD.
We often equate keeping teens safe online to shielding them from experiencing online risks – such as information breaches, cyberbullying, sexual solicitations, and exposure to explicit content. However, this abstinence-only approach tends to be very parent-centric and does not take into account the developmental needs and teen-centric experiences of our youth, including those who are on the Autism Spectrum. Instead, Dr. Wisniewski’s research emphasizes teaching teens how to appropriately leverage technology to their advantage, stay safe while doing so, and learn how to cope with online risks when they encounter them. As adults, we often assume teens have no personal agency when it comes to their own online safety, and that they cannot effectively manage online risks by themselves. Yet, as parents and educators, it is our job to teach Autistic teens these skills, so that they can become well-formed and independent adults. Autistic teens can disproportionately benefit and be harmed online; therefore, it is important to take evidence-based precautions that protect them from harm without limiting their opportunities to connect with others and benefit from what the internet has to offer. Note: Just like everyone else, Autistic teens all have different strengths and weaknesses. Therefore, the perspectives shared during this talk may not be generalizable to all Autistic teens, particularly those who require more significant (i.e., Level 3) support in their daily lives.
REGISTER HERE: https://autism.org/social-media-use-and-autism-teens-and-adults/
Free certificates of participation are available upon successful completion of a brief knowledge quiz after the webinar. The quiz will be added to the Autism Research Institute page once the event has concluded.
- About the speaker:
- Pamela Wisniewski,PhD, is an endowed, Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Vanderbilt University. She is a Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) scholar whose research lies at the intersection of Social Computing and Privacy. Dr. Wisniewski is an expert in the interplay between social media, privacy, and online safety for adolescents. She was one of the first researchers to recognize the need for a resilience-based approach, rather than an abstinence-based approaches to adolescent online safety, and to back this stance up with empirical data. She has authored over 100 peer-reviewed publications and has won multiple best papers (top 1%) and best paper honorable mentions (top 5%) at top conferences in HCI. She has been awarded over $4.72 million in external grant funding, including two prestigious career awards. She is the recipient of the National Science Foundation’s prestigious CAREER Award for her innovative, teen-centric approach to adolescent online safety, “Safety by Design: Protecting Adolescents from Online Risks,” and was the first computer scientist to ever be selected as a William T. Grant Scholar. Her research has been featured by popular news media outlets, including ABC News, NPR, Psychology Today, and U.S. News and World Report. In addition to her scholarly research with teens, Dr. Wisniewski is the wife of an AuDHD man and mother to an AuDHD daughter.