In "Social Media Use and Happiness with Autism Spectrum Disorder," coauthors Deborah Ward and Karen Dill-Shackleford, Fielding Graduate University, Santa Barbara, CA and Micah Mazurek, University of Virginia, Charlottesville found that while happiness and Facebook use increased together up to a certain point, the
use then waned. The researchers propose that that ability to interact with others on Facebook, instead of in more challenging face-to-face interactions may help protect these individuals against mental health issues associated with
such as depression.
‘Facebook can provide a safe beginning for training and improvement of conversational skills.’
"Some studies report that up to 50% of adults with ASD have co-occurring social anxiety disorder.
Facebook may provide a safe starting point for training and refinement of conversational skills," says Editor-in-Chief Brenda K. Wiederhold, PhD, MBA, BCB, BCN, Interactive Media Institute, San Diego, California and Virtual Reality Medical Institute, Brussels, Belgium. "Increased self-confidence in one's abilities may lead to eventual translation of these new skill sets into improved face-to-face interactions."