We know this is really hard! Here are some tips to help you manage when your child is home and may be without their usual services.
Stay calm and help your child stay calm
Being stuck at home and reading scary news reports can make us all feel anxious! Fortunately, as a parent of a kid on the spectrum, you probably already have strategies to help your child stay calm. Keep using these, and don't forget about your own calming needs!
- Stay healthy: keep up your best habits for eating, sleeping and staying active.
- Routine: it may not be the same one, but find a schedule that works for your household at this time.
- Adjust visual supports or calendars: make sure your child knows what to expect, even in this uncertain time.
- Breathing exercises and tactile or physical calming methods. Try this simple calming routine.
- Work on understanding and managing challenging behavior. Watch this 20-minute Webinar from LASARD (The Louisiana Autism Spectrum and Related Disorders Project).
Find out what services you can get through Telehealth (Tele-Health)
Telehealth means doing your medical, counseling or therapy appointments by phone or on the computer. Many providers are switching to this method so they can keep helping patients and clients without meeting in person.
- Most health insurances will cover Telehealth appointments if you were already approved for the care or therapy. This includes ABA, Speech, OT and other therapies.
- Call your provider to see if they can do your appointments this way!
- Read this blog: Healthcare moves online. What you need to know about Telehealth.
Stay connected to your friends and support networks
In this time of isolation, it's more important than ever to stay connected in other ways! Mostly, this means technology, like FaceBook, other social media and video chat apps. And remember, you can always pick up the phone and call the people who support you.
- Keep in touch with friends and family. Help your child connect with their friends, too. Experiment with using online apps like FaceTime, Skype, Google Hangouts or Zoom.
- Stay involved in any groups you are part of. If you go to a support group, call and ask them if they are doing an online version.
- Check our Exceptional Lives Facebook Group! We put tips and supportive posts up almost every day.
- Check in with your local support centers. They may be hosting webinars or other online trainings and supports:
There are lots of resources to help parents of kids with autism! They can help you to talk to your kids, manage behavior, help with schooling at home, and try to maintain therapy and other services.
Explore this page: Resources for home-bound families of kids with special needs.
- Autism-related activities and learning supports
- Articles about autism and Coronavirus
- Social Stories
Look at other sections in this Autism Guide. Explore the menu on the left side and click on any underlined page. (On a mobile phone, the menu is at the top of your screen.)