School phone ban would hit autistic children the hardest

Posted: 7th August 2023

Barring smartphones from schools – as proposed by the UN – could leave autistic pupils feeling lost and overwhelmed, warns Carrie Myshkin

I didn’t grow up with a smartphone at school. I’m 36. I had to make do with portable CD players and books. Nowadays, my phone is a vital part of my life. As an autistic person, it helps me play music and meditate, and generally shut out some of the overwhelmingness of the outside world.

That could have helped me so much, had it been available to me when I was at school. I can read and listen to books on my phone, both of which would, again, have been massively helpful to me at school.

The idea that such a useful tool would be taken away from children, particularly autistic children, astonishes and saddens me (Letters, 28 July). If I suddenly had my phone taken away from me as an adult, I would feel utterly lost and overwhelmed, like I did at school.

Children now are so lucky to be able to regulate their stress levels, keep in contact with support networks and do things that make them happy, in ways that I could only have dreamed of when I was growing up. Taking that away from them seems thoughtlessly unkind, especially for autistic children.
Carrie Myshkin

Source: School phone ban would hit autistic children the hardest | Children | The Guardian

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