A while back, we got an email from the mom of a ten year-old boy on the spectrum. Her son (we’ll call him Andrew) has encountered bullying at different times in his life and he, like many other kids we know, tends to take it on as his own failure. He’s an amazing kid. Bright, sweet, creative, and open-hearted, but weighted down with the idea that he is the one to blame. His parents had been having difficulty getting him to discuss it in therapy, but one night, as they were setting up his Squagpad, the three of them made a breakthrough. It was a big turning point for us to receive this letter, because his story confirmed what our goal has been from the very beginning: to create an environment where kids could be safe to record their experiences and build confidence:
When we came home I told my son if he finished his homework he could try Squag.
We have had huge problems the computer so we took it away for a long time.
He and my husband set Squag up with his photos, his likes and his interests.
He loved writing in the journal and wrote with great confidence, building messages about himself and told his feelings about about being bullied.
I started to cry. It was the first time he was happy about himself in a real way, not just distracted by the computer to forget the sadness.
Thank-you for giving my son this gift.
He and others like him need to find safety to talk about how they feel and use social media without being bullied on it.
Jennifer Leo, Singapore
(We changed her name too)