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Coronavirus and Autism: What You Need to Know

March 15, 2020

Coronavirus and autism - What to know

The world seems to be in mass hysteria and things like quarantines, events being canceled, and schools being closed can trigger your loved one with autism. As you know, people with autism often find comfort in routine and knowing exactly what’s going to happen and when. In times like these where there are no definite answers to the questions they are likely to ask, it’s a good idea to have a plan.

Give them as much information as you have and show them notifications from the school or event that is being canceled. Reassure them that this is temporary and that you will let them know when you have updated information.

You know your autistic child or loved one better than anyone else, so take this information and these suggestions and modify them based on what you already know works best to educate and calm your child. If necessary, contact their therapist for support.

Educate Yourself with the Facts

Mass hysteria can lead to a lot of false information being spread faster than the virus itself. Make sure to check sources and get reliable information before starting a discussion with your child. Here are some of the basics from the CDC and WHO:

Kids with Autism and Coronavirus

Other things to know about Coronavirus from the CDC:

(Keep in mind information is constantly changing so it’s a good idea to check their website for the latest news)

What you need to know about Coronavirus and autsim

Talk About Coronavirus with Your Autistic Child

Honesty is usually the best medicine, just make sure to use language and examples that will put them at ease and help alleviate their anxiety. Children with autism respond well to logic and facts and discussing world events is no exception. Have a conversation about the disease, how it spreads, and how the changes in their routine can help protect people. Remember, despite precautions being taken to contain the virus, the chances of actually getting Coronavirus are still very low in most areas.

A good way to start is by asking them what they already know, listening to their concerns, and answering their questions. You may be surprised at how much they’ve already learned and processed. This way you can address their specific concerns and anxiety head-on and be as supportive as possible.

Don’t forget to go over the symptoms and point out how some of the symptoms are similar for colds and the flu. Remind them of a time they got sick and then got better and reassure them that this is no different, but that it’s important for them to let you know right away if they don’t feel well.

Good Hygiene, Coronavirus, and Autism

Fun Activities to Teach Good Hygiene to Children

Make learning about good hygiene practices fun with these activities:

School Closed due to Coronavirus - What you should know for your kid with autism

Dealing with Changes in Routine and Having Events Canceled

While having school canceled is something typical kids dream about, it can cause a child with autism a lot of stress. If your school hasn’t canceled classes yet, it might be a good idea to start preparing your child for the possibility. Giving your child with autism time to process and accept the change is important. This is also true of events that may be canceled, especially if it is something that they’ve been looking forward to for a long time.

If your school has already canceled classes, make sure to talk openly about it and let your child know they can discuss any anxiety or sadness they are experiencing with you. Here are some things you can do to ease the transition:

Printable Weekly Schedule

Printable Weekly Schedule

Safety At Home

With schools closing and routines being changed, children with autism who are prone to wandering or have wandered in the past could have an increase in incidents caused by anxiety or boredom. It’s important to be on high alert and take as many precautions as necessary to ensure your child’s safety.

This is exactly what the AngelSense GPS safety device was made for. If you have one, make sure it is charged and that your child is wearing it. Also, make sure your phone is charged, the sound is on, and that you check it regularly so you don’t miss any elopement alerts. Anxiety and boredom can trigger wandering, so don’t take any chances.

Here are a few tips to keep your child with autism safe during a home quarantine:

Autism Safety at home during Coronavirus

Here are some ways to teach your child with ASD about safety depending on their abilities:

Using AngelSense at Home During Coronavirus Closures

Using AngelSense at Home

AngelSense is an extremely effective GPS tracker that will notify you if your child elopes from home and help you find them before it turns into an emergency situation. However, it also has several other features that can be used, and that you can practice using, while you’re at home. Here are some ways to use the device during a quarantine or if school is canceled:

We wish you an easy transition during these unique times. Stay safe and healthy!

One Comment

  1. Nicole Corrado March 16, 2020 at 5:10 pm - Reply

    Here is an article written by an autistic adult.

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