The aim of this study was to investigate the understanding of online risks by young people with Additional Support Needs and this group’s ability to manage these risks. Six focus groups with 36 young people (13–18) were run in local schools. Discussions were recorded, transcribed and analysed using Framework Analysis. Two themes were identified ‘Identity and Connectedness’ and ‘Issues relating to Risk’. The theme ‘Issues relating to Risk’ is presented in the current article. Results showed that young people with ASN are aware of a range of risks online and have developed some strategies to manage these. Issues including supervision and the diverse range of ability within the population are also shown to present barriers to ensuring online safety. The results were discussed in light of literature relating to online risk, safety and potential psychological impact indicating that the internet may also provide important opportunities for young people with ASN to improve psychological well-being.
- psychological impact
- additional support needs