Children with autism find it hard to create and maintain friendships, despite the desire to have friends. They lack the ability to be intuitive about what other people expect from them, and are much less sensitive to non verbal cues like facial expressions and changes in tone of voice.
For many kids, this becomes more of a problem when they reach middle and high school and social interactions becomes an important part of the day. This affects kids on all ends of the autistic spectrum, including those with Asperger’s or Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). With guidance and support from parents and teachers, children with autism can learn to maintain friendships and be socially active.
Squag is a social networking platform specifically for tweens and teens on the autism spectrum. Kids on the spectrum often enjoy socializing as much as other kids, but can require a little extra guidance and support from parents. Squag aims to provide a safe platform where kids on the spectrum can enjoy the benefits of social networking, while maintaining a reflective space where they can interact with peers at their own pace.
- Parental control over the pace the child is introduced to the features of the site
- One-to-one interaction with other kids
- No filesharing to support safety
What It Is / What It’s Not
Here’s a bit more about Squag from the company. It does a good job of explaining what it IS and what it’s NOT.
[skwag] is a customized application for tweenagers on the autism spectrum to connect with their parents and with one another. It was built on three guiding principles:
Squag™ eliminates outside noise by simulating a sun-lit room with visual simplicity and clean animation. The intensity of the light is adjustable and the original soundtrack is soothing. We’ve removed the distraction of pop-ups and advertising and designed intuitive Squagpads™ where users can focus on building a sense of self and creating original thoughts.
Security is our first priority. SquagTM encourages parents to keep up to date on their child’s activities online. Our application was designed to make it easy for parents to be involved. See security policy.
The ASD community is a special one. A parent’s best support comes from other parents going through the same thing. We believe that our kids would benefit from that support system too. SquagTM gives users the opportunity to build ideas about themselves and reach out – first to their parents, and when they’re ready, to their peers.
Who We Are
We are a family business made up of parents, grandparents and aunts & uncles of children with autism. We’re forever changed by loving these spectacular children; they make us all better, every day.
Squag was created for kids 9+ anywhere on the autism spectrum who:
- Have specific interests that are not being validated by their peers at school.
- Would benefit from a new and exciting way to communicate with their parent or caregiver
- Are being marginalized or bullied at school
- Are home-schooled and need a supportive peer group
Why Squag™ ?
Because our children deserve a break from therapy.
Squag™ is not therapy.
Squag™ is an opportunity for social, recreational and creative communication. It’s an alternative to video games and the everyday noise of the internet. With content from their parents and the comfort of a computer to ground them, users are free to take the extra processing time they need to start to develop a sense of self and reach out to their peers without being spoken for.
Squag™ is a curated, customized, intelligent, and scalable experience. It’s a beautiful corner of the web where tweens and teens on the autism spectrum can experiment with the big idea of friendship and gain some confidence to take with them wherever they go.
Here’s a bit more about Squag courtesy of their website. It does a good job of explaining why it was created and more: