Monday, February 17, 2014

"No More Victims" Review

It seems that everyday I read news reports about kids being cyber-bullied or targeted by online predators.  The Internet, though filled with fantastic information and important resources, can be a dangerous place for children.  Some days, I just want to ban my kids entirely from ever using the World Wide Web, but I know that this is not an option.

In No More Victims: Protecting Those with Autism from Cyber Bullying, Internet Predators & Scams , Jed Baker points out that because children with autism tend to enjoy spending time on the computer, they can fall victim to cyberbullies, predators, and online scams.  He says, "Individuals on the autism spectrum may be particularly susceptible to these types of scams because of challenges with being able to gauge and understand others' intentions, isolation, increased time online and difficulty with developing assertive communication skills."

It's enough to make a parent panic, isn't it?

Well, rest assured, a moratorium on all technology is not the only solution to keeping your child safe.  Baker's book is an important resource; he gives advice and information that is critical in protecting your children.

Baker starts the book with descriptions of the various types of internet victimization and discusses who is more likely to fall prey to them.  The second chapter, one I was especially interested in, covers how to prevent cyber-bullying.  In this section he covers the things school staff, teachers, and administrators should do to prevent bullying in school or among students.  He then talks about what we should be teaching kids to protect them, but also to prevent them from becoming bullies themselves.  He also lists rules that parents should establish surrounding Internet use, like never give away any passwords, for example. The final section of this chapter covers what to do if you or your child is bullied via the internet.

Next up is the chapter entitled "How to Protect Kids from Online Predators" and it covers topics like game-rating restrictions, filters, Netiquette, and rules to establish for your children's safety.  The chapter on Internet Scams gives salient advice on how to spot a scam and information on the most common scams out there.

Chapter 5 is called "An Insider's View of Keeping Safe in the Digital World" provides great tips and online resources from Jennider, girl with Asperger's Syndrome.

This book is short and extremely accessible.  Written in very easy-to-understand language, Baker is careful not to use jargon that can confuse those of us who are not computer experts.  After reading this book, I feel a lot more comfortable about my children's online safety; I recommend adding this book to your home libraries.  It's a must-read in this era of the internet.

You can find this book on Future Horizons' website here.  If you use the code PH, you can get 15% off all orders AND free shipping no matter how large or small!

Family Matters Parent Training and Information Center has a copy of this book in our lending library.  If you live in Illinois and would to borrow this book, please call us at 866-436-7842.  Or you can request the book yourself on our website:  You can borrow resources for a month and we send you a self-addressed, stamped envelope for easy return!

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