Swansea academic to discuss impact of digital media on people with ASD as part of World Autism Awareness Week

Swansea University’s Professor Phil Reed will explain how using digital technology can enhance the wellbeing of those with autism, as well as outlining its potential harms, at a special conference for World Autism Awareness Week.

The Promoting Autistic Wellbeing conference will take place at the Liberty Stadium on Wednesday, April 3 and is facilitated by the National ASD Development Team.It is free for autistic people aged 16 and over and their parents and their guest.

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Professor Phil Reed, from Swansea University’s Psychology department, will discuss common apps that have been used by many with autism to help in areas of daily organisation and stress reduction, but will also outline some of the potential pitfalls of such technology.

Meanwhile, Swansea University’s Sara Hounsell will talk about the kind of support you can access as a University student with autism.

The theme of the conference is wellbeing, which will cover emotional, physical and social wellbeing, while there will be several other speakers and workshops to choose from.

The conference is being facilitated in partnership with the Welsh Local Government Association, Public Health Wales, Swansea University, Swansea City Football Club Community Trust and Ospreys Foundation.

Professor Phil Reed said:

“Many people with autism rely on digital technology for communication, and it has provided a lifeline for many. However, just because people have ASD does not mean they are immune to the potential harms of this technology.

“These include other users, whose intentions are to cause harm, as well as the harms that we know come from overuse of the technology itself.”