Guiding Students in Safe Internet Behaviors

Guiding Students in Safe Internet Behaviors

I want to take a moment and discuss the internet; specifically the internet as it pertains to Legacy students. I understand we live in a  digital age and there is no escaping it–nor should there be. The internet is full of useful information and technological advantages to help children with learning differences reach their potential.

However, I can see that for children with learning challenges the risks of the internet can be more profound due to increased vulnerability, tendencies towards obsessive behavior, and social naivety. For instance, Legacy students may make interpretations of content online which are not entirely accurate, which may affect how they respond. The post Covid age has pushed many children into accepting their on-line world as a reality, when in fact, it is an escape from reality.

Please remember that there are people out there that use the internet to harm children. The most effective approach to is to find a healthy balance. Video games, Tik-Tok, Minecraft are a way to wind down after a long day, but your children need your guidance about the visuals and content they discover online.

I can offer a couple of tips based on my personal interactions with your children and listening to their conversations.

  • Check in to make sure your child understands that people they meet online may not be what they seem. Explain how the nature of the Internet makes it easy for a person to pretend to be someone other than who he is in real life — and why this can be dangerous. People you know only through the internet are not real friends. Children should know this.

  • Watch TV, YouTube, and Play Video Games with your child—then talk with your child about the online content they watch. If you see your child playing a popular video game, where they are beating up another player, lighting something on fire or robbing a store; take the time to explain to them the difference between fantasy and reality. Explain that while video games allow you to ‘fight’ that actually ‘fighting’ in real life is hurtful to others, and the content they engage in is just pretend. This is far more effective than simply taking a popular game away. Pointing out what troubles you about a game they play–helps them to develop the mindset of a citizen of society rather than a citizen of an online world. They are very different things.

We believe that addressing the impact of social media and the internet on students with learning disabilities is a collaborative effort that involves educators, parents, and the students. To this end, we invite you to engage in open conversations with your children about their online experiences, guiding them towards positive use of these powerful tools. We welcome your feedback and suggestions on how we can better support our students in this area. If you have resources, experiences, or ideas you would like to share, please do not hesitate to reach out.

Together, we can guide our children to navigate this landscape wisely, ensuring that the internet is used appropriately and with your child’s learning struggles in mind.


Jamie Caplan

Head of School