Last year we launched the STAR Toolkit, an online safety resource that offered practical advice and teaching activities to help secondary schools explore internet safety with young people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). To mark World Autism Week 2015, 27 March – 2 April, we explain more about the toolkit and how it can help educators.
Young people living with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) face a unique set of opportunities and challenges when using digital technology. Technology and the internet offer fantastic opportunities for young people with learning, communicating and playing. However, alongside these benefits there are many risks that young people with an ASD may be more vulnerable to, including cyberbullying, contact by strangers, exposure to inappropriate content and excessive use
The STAR Toolkit aims to increase the knowledge and expertise of school staff in relation to e-safety practice whilst also helping to promote a positive, fun and safe experience for young people with ASD. The four sections SAFE, TRUST, ACTION and RESPECT all feature the concept of friendship and emphasise the importance of finding the balance between online and offline interaction. Each section contains advice and links to activities which can be used to help pupils understand the e-safety messages covered in each toolkit.
One year on and the STAR Toolkit has been a huge success! It has been viewed over 7,500 times and we have had incredible feedback about the need for this resource and the importance of keeping young people with autism spectrum disorders safe online. In August 2014 the resource was also featured on BBC Click.
To use the STAR Toolkit as part of our World Autism Week activities visit: http://www.childnet.com/resources/star-toolkit