Cell phones are a widespread and essential tool used very frequently in everyday life for most people. We carry them in our pockets or purses and use them frequently. People with autism can use cellphones as a way to communicate and help keep themselves safe while out in the community. The tips below can help teach people with autism to use a cellphone safely:
Research supports those that have significant language and social challenges can benefit from learning to answer cell phones and to follow directions delivered by phone in order to locate an adult and request assistance.
– Hannah Hoch, Ph.D., BCBA; Alpine Learning Group, Inc
- Be as discreet as possible when using your cell phone in public.
- Do not use a Bluetooth device or auxiliary speaker system if possible.
- Do not let anyone see you dial numbers.
- Do not use your cell phone to take photographs or capture videos of unsuspecting people, unless absolutely necessary.
- Speak in a soft voice if possible.
- Do not give out personal information over the cell phone.
- If you do not recognize the caller, hang up.
- Keep your cell phone in a secure pocket, buttoned or zipped if possible.
- Ensure important numbers are downloaded or stored for quick dial.
- Download photographs for individuals in the address book for quick identity.
- Keep your cell phone charged at all times.
- If cell phone signal is lost, attempt to reposition yourself to gain maximum coverage.
- Check your cell phone periodically to protect against a “pocket dial”.
- Use text in lieu of cell call if possible.
- DO NOT TEXT & DRIVE.
- Have an I.C.E. (In Case of Emergency) entry in cell phone, and also, use a bit of punctuation before it (_I.C.E. or +I.C.E. etc.) to move the ICE contact up to the top of the contact list.
– David Munday – Law Enforcement Consultant/BlueLine Advantage, LLC
– Chris Lacey, President of Autism ALERT, Inc.