Updated: Sep 25, 2020
Change is oftentimes uncomfortable. We are susceptible to change but we need time to adjust and adapt to said change.
With the current climate of change due to the COVID - 19 pandemic, there are a slew of things that are changing and are changing fast. So how, as parents, can we deal with these changes and make our children understand what is happening in the world?
Here are some tips in helping your child with autism navigate this brave new world with COVID - 19:
Keep it simple
Taking measures to simplify things so that your child can understand a complex thing like the COVID-19 pandemic can go a long way. So making things simple is the first step to help your kid.
For starters, you can say the Corona virus is a germ. That germs can make you sick and other people as well. That it is important to keep a safe distance from other people so that you won’t catch “germs”.
It is also vital to explain that staying home is the most important thing to do.
Create New Rules
Since the current situation calls for extra steps to ensure every one’s safety, it is advisable to create a set of new rules to prepare your child to face the COVID-19 pandemic.
You can start with telling them the basics of good handwashing. Telling them to do it for at least 20 seconds. Furthermore, it is also important that they do away from touching their face, especially their nose, mouth and eyes.
This also calls for a new rule in dealing with other people, such as observing social distancing. And using the proper protective gears such face masks and shields. All of these could prompt your child to ask a question with regards to the COVID-19 pandemic situation, but like the first tip you should answer the questions with simple terms. Make it easy for them to understand and do not complicate things outside of what your kid asks for.
Speaking of talking and answering your kids’ questions, it could be helpful for kids with autism to deal with complex issues through the use of storytelling.
Use the COVID-19 pandemic situation to make stories to help kids with autism deal with any question that they might have. Or how they can act according to some situations. Stories are important in explaining things to your child, you can use pictures to aid with your story.
As you deal with proper hand washing, social distancing and other COVID-19 stuff, the stories are there to help you establish rules, routines, and response to other problems.
If storytelling is not your strong suit, kids with autism can deal with this issue through different activities. These activities are particularly helpful if your kid is showing challenging behaviors such as tantrums.
Help them express their emotions in these trying times by giving them and yourself time to do arts and crafts, you can also do role playing and other physical activities to calm your child down in case the situation becomes to much for them.
Get Some Help
Lastly, if you think that there are things that you need to know and want to be sure, it is imperative to seek help from professionals. There are a lot of professional behavior analysis centers that can help you with your kids.
NESS Behavior Consulting is a behavior consulting agency in the state of New York. Their new Parent Training service will help you in transitioning your child into this new brave world.
Check them out here: https://www.nessbehaviorconsulting.com/