TITLE: The Secret Rules of Social Networking

AUTHOR: Klipper, Barbara and Shapiro-Rieser, Rhonda

SUJBECT AREA: Autism Spectrum Disorder-Social Networking

PUBLISHER: Autism Asperger Publishing Co.



As more and more teens on the autism spectrum go online to social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, they are faced with a potential wealth of social possibilities, but also a potential minefield as the rules for being online and relating IRL (In Real Life) are different and because kids with ASD are often concrete in their thinking they need specific guidelines on how to behave online in a safe and comfortable way. This is where The Secret Rules of Social Networking comes in. The authors present a set of simple, yet clear guidelines for using social networking sites. Topics include getting started and creating a profile, making “friends” online such as on Facebook where a “friend” is someone you contact, the difference between a message and a comment with the comment being public, online etiquette and being aware of dangers such as online scams and being sucked into spending more money on Amazon than one should!

In addition, sensitive subjects such as meeting romantic partners online, flirting and sexual behavior are covered-this is crucially important stuff for teens to know! Each chapter covers a special aspect of online behavior and is accompanied by delightful black and white illustrations with lovely artwork gracing each chapter heading. The writing is simple and direct, but not preachy. This is a great roadmap for all middle school aged children who are introduced to online social networks at seeming younger and younger ages, but who need help with the navigation of these choppy waters. This information is even more important for kids with ASD who have more difficulty with social nuances which are part and parcel of social networks. All parents of kids in middle school, whether or not on the autism spectrum, need this book NOW.