Autism and YouTube

Complaints about autism and YouTube?
Many parents of autistic children (of all ages) express their concern.

The classic comment is “My son, who is autistic, won’t do anything but watch YouTube videos.” Or perhaps the issue is games or TicTok or something else. . . .

BUT . . .

It’s all about the obsession with technology.
Writer and speaker, autistic adult, Jude Morrow stated it beautifully.

Autistic people are negatively viewed as having “obsessive and repetitive patterns of behaviour.” This has always troubled me because if you are autistic you are “obsessed.” If you are not autistic, you are an “expert.”

Autism obsessions

Obsessions are common in autistic individuals, in part, because it can give them a sense of control and predictability.
So this time with technology may seem like a waste of time to you, but for the autistic person, it may be providing a useful purpose. This may also be a clue that he feels unsettled or needs to “regulate” his system.
Question . . . Would this is technology behavior continue unless it’s meeting a need?

Parents feel conflicted about what to allow their child to do. One parent commented, “If it’s something that is useful to him then you don’t want to stop it as it could make him more anxious.”

It’s a puzzle

Autistic children tend to be very visual learners so this visual medium attracts them.

Autism and technology

Here’s some interesting research about VIDEO that is targeting behavior of NEUROTYPICAL individuals.

  • Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video compared to 10% when reading it in text (insivia).
  • A single minute of video is worth about 1/8 million words. (Forrester)
  • 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000X faster in the brain than text (Zabisco)
  • Studies have shown that adding video can improve one’s ability to remember concepts and details that can even increase over time.

What does this mean about autism?

That’s a lot of interesting research to unpack. It certainly explains why the technology obsession is not limited to autistic individuals. Neurotypicals are just as drawn to the medium.

And remember, these statistics are focused on neurotypical learners (or at least they are measuring the overall population).

So . . . do these statistics also apply to the neurodiverse population? I think they do . . . at least close enough to help us understand the POWER of video.

Autism and social skills

Technology not only helps those with ASD find a common ground with other children and relate to them, but increasingly becomes an outlet in which Autistic students can shine.

Recently I had a chance to watch several “neurodiverse teen girls” sharing funny videos about animals with each other.

They were really sharing and laughing together and engaging with each other. The technology was the tool to help them socialize. That’s good.

Autism and computers

Studies have shown that adding video can improve one’s ability to remember concepts and details — with effects that even increase over time.

YouTube and other online video resources cause confusion because we aren't always sure how to use them as positive educational resources.

Video for autism has untapped potential! I think video is a tool that we UNDER use with our neurodiverse students for teaching specific skills. The challenge for us is to learn more about HOW to use YouTube and other video tools for autism to add educational value.

Here's a resource for you . . .

I created a webinar called 7 Essentials for Autism & Happy Holidays. In that program, I provide lots of ideas for how to use video to help our neurodivergent students gain success in social situations that can be difficult for them. 

Keep in mind that holidays are not just those big ones near the end of the year. 

7 Essentials for Autism & Happy Holdiays

Holidays can be any day that takes students out of their normal, expected routines. Birthdays. Class parties. Special field trips.
And more. . .

For Autism Month, this webinar program has been reduced 90%.
It’s only one hour long but you’ll learn some really useful video techniques to help your students.

PLUS . . . We are able to provide a Continuing Education Certificate of Completion for the online version of this course.

Check it out HERE
Use PROMO CODE: April24
Offer good for one week. It ends when April does.

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