My autistic teen won't use a search engine - please help

My autistic teen refuses to use a search engine like Google to do his homework. He says he won’t want to type anything into the search box, and doesn’t want to be taken to websites that he doesn’t know. This is a simplification - I think his reasoning/fears are more complex than this, and he’s unable to explain them fully.

Has anyone else encountered this problem? As you can imagine it’s having a huge impact on school work, as he gets very upset when asked to do a google search. Have you found a solution?

Thank you. This probably sounds like a tiny problem, but it’s causing a lot of stress and upset, as it’s such a fundamental thing.

Hi Ian, welcome to the forum
I don’t have the answer sadly. Other members may.
Just wanted to say that we don’t thing any problem is small. It’s affecting your stress levels so not small to you.
Am sure there will be a solution.


Could it be the frustration with over complicated web pages etc, too many distractions and information overload ? Does he use a computer for anything else ?

I live with someone on the spectrum and Google searches can be a nightmare. Ad block helps, but constant banners popping up or videos even colours or brightness, moving graphics or page layout can make searching for information difficult or overwhelming.

Another problem appears to be the actual search words used. A constant issue is typing in a whole sentence or question and getting too many irrelevant search results. Using just key words instead might help him.

As an NT my choice of search words is often far fewer than the person with ASD and it makes them made when I get the information in seconds ofter they have been teaching for ages.

Hope this helps in some way.

Just a google search - not recommending as I don’t know that much about

Internet filters

UK Safer Internet Centre -
This site contains advice on how to use the Internet and new technologies safely and
responsibly as well as a range of practical resources, news and events focussing on the safe and
responsible use of the Internet and new technologies.

K9 Web Protection -
Website which offers free internet filtering and parental control software.ust a google search not recommending

Has your son tried his voice to do searching rather than typing.

You could also place a thread on Autism UK.