This is a stressful and confusing time for all of us. There’s a lot of unknowns in our minds of how long our lives will temporarily be in the status they are in, with us all trying to socially distance and stay at home as much as possible. This is especially confusing for children who do not fully understand the impact of Covid-19. Asking children to wear a mask, wash their hands frequently, no longer see friends or extended family, and having their schools closed brings about a lot of emotions and uncertainty. It can also be confusing to see others wearing masks in the community, particularly in places where they did not previously see them such as the grocery store and gas station.
Here are a few resources and ways that may aid in teaching about Covid-19:
- Tara Tuchel, a Speech Language Pathologist, has several free resource aids and social stories including stories on: what is Covid-19, Schools staying closed, distance learning, wearing a mask, and seeing other people wear masks. She even has a wearing a mask coloring book for children! These stories are made with simple concepts that can help your children become more familiarized with everything happening in their community.
- Amanda Mc Guiness, an Autism Educator, has a free printable calendar with a visual “no school” icon for non-vocal children or a child that may need a visual calendar to remind them daily that school is closed for the day.
- AutismSpeaks collaborated with Autism Certification Center to provide free access until June 1st to video learning and resources to the Autism community.
- The National Autism Association has several free resources including a hand washing tutorial, several Covid-19 social stories and resources for caretakers as well.
While there isn’t much that can be done at this time to change our home status, these tools can aid in providing helpful conversation and visuals to reduce stress and anxiety. At the end of this, the hope is that we can look back on this time and remember fondly being able to stay at home and keep our health as a priority. Continue to take care of your children and those with Autism and tell them that all of their therapists and BCBA’s miss them and hope to see them soon!