Explaining The Virus And Changes

Visual supports are an evidenced based practice for children with autism and can be used for communication, organization, task completion and preparing for new situations.  Visual supports are concrete items, pictures, photographs, symbols, printed words, and/or a combination of these.  You will see most of the resources below involve using visual supports to help support explaining the virus, changes in routine, and developing a new schedule.

Our loved ones, no matter how much language they have, pick up on anxiety, may hear parts of conversations and the news, and know there are changes in their routines. The resources below are for a variety of age levels and can be helpful in explaining what is going on:

AFIRM’s COVID 19 TOOLKIT – 7 support strategies are designed to meet the unique needs of individuals with autism during this period of uncertainty. In addition, examples and ready-made resources are included to help caregivers implement these strategies quickly and easily. https://afirm.fpg.unc.edu/supporting-individuals-autism-through-uncertain-times

BrainPOP – Free cartoon video (about 4 min long) for upper elementary and middle schoolers – https://www.brainpop.com/health/diseasesinjuriesandconditions/coronavirus/

Explaining the Coronavirus to Children with Anxiety or OCD – by a child therapist – https://youtu.be/C3BZnldL66E

Lisa Hodgden’s page Autism and Coronavirus: Helping Students Understand – https://usevisualstrategies.com/autism-coronavirus-helping-students-understand/ Excellent article with tips about creating a notebook with visual supports to explain the ever-changing situation

An article, Talking to Kids About the Coronavirushttps://childmind.org/article/talking-to-kids-about-the-coronavirus/

Mental Health and Coping During COVID-19https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/coping.html

COVID-19 Information By and For People with DisabilitiesAnother great resource by in plain language by the Green Mountain Self-Advocates www.gmsavt.org – https://selfadvocacyinfo.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Plain-Language-Information-on-Coronavirus.pdf

New Boardmaker Icons – Boardmaker icons are commonly used for visual schedules and communication boards. Boardmaker recently added new icons related to the virus. You may sign up for a 30 day free trial. For more info – https://goboardmaker.com/blogs/news/coronavirus-pcs-symbols-pcs-update

UNC team creates Online toolkit for those supporting autistic individuals during Covid-19 pandemic: A new online toolkit from an interdisciplinary team at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will help families and caregivers supporting autistic individuals during the Covid-19 pandemic. https://afirm.fpg.unc.edu/supporting-individuals-autism-through-uncertain-times

Illinois Autism Partnership has created an excellent social story to explain the coronavirus and school closures: https://l.ead.me/bbPKG6

How to Make a Cloth Face Mask: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/how-to-make-cloth-face-covering.html

Autism Society Options Policy

This Resource Guide was developed to provide families and professionals with an opportunity to find resources related to autism in the Inland Empire in one place.

All information provided or published by the Autism Society Inland Empire is for information purposes only. Specific treatment, therapy or services should be provided to an individual only at the direction of the individual’s doctor, caregiver, or other qualified professional. References to any treatment or therapy option, program, service, or treatment provider are not an endorsement by the Autism Society. References of treatments, therapies, programs, services, and/or providers are not intended to be comprehensive statements. You should investigate alternatives that may be more appropriate for a specific individual. The Autism Society assumes no responsibility for the use made of any information published or provided. The Autism Society Inland Empire provides information, but it does not constitute medical or legal information. Referrals provided are suggestions to organizations that might help, but do not constitute a recommendation. The Autism Society Inland Empire cannot be held responsible for consequences that arise from individual dealings with a professional or organization. The inclusion of any organization does not imply endorsement, and omission does not imply disapproval. The Autism Society Inland Empire may add or remove organizations from this list at its discretion.