With all of the concern, and naturally so, about COVID-19, I wanted to share a few quick tips in case you find yourself in a state where they are enforcing a quarantine or if you’re self-quarantining for safety precautions. Really we don’t go a lot of places anyway, but here’s what I would recommend.
How to Prepare for a Quarantine with an Autistic Child
First things first, stock up on your necessities. This is common sense though so don’t go too overboard. But try to give yourself a little bit of a cushion.
Secondly, help them understand what’s going on to the best of their ability. This doesn’t mean that you have to go show them what the virus looks like or how it’s spread. But rather, you want to explain how the schedule is going to be. Why they can’t do certain things. And you want to be prepared for this disruption in their schedule.
You need to try and stay on a routine as much as possible while accommodating for any possible disruptions.
If your child is already used to following a school break or school vacation or weekend schedule, try implementing something similar. For example, you can take a look at our ideas for how to structure your summer and adapt them from there.
If you are concerned about them falling behind their IEP goals, I would recommend trying to implement a modified afterschool program.
- From the most recent copy of your child’s IEP or IFSP, identify goals and areas that you can work on at home
- This may be an ideal time to work on functional life skills (ex. chores, increasing independence, functional fine motor skills such as writing, shoelace tying, etc.)
- Social skills (within reason) are also a good skill to work on
- Incorporate sensory based activities throughout the day
- Use YouTube videos for brain breaks and gross motor activities
- Incorporate these free printable resources
But most of all? Keep as much of their routine as you can. We know, as parents, that our autistic children thrive with this routine.
Support them with visual schedules and keep them on track.
I would also recommend checking out this post here about how to prepare for quarantine.
Above all? Don’t panic. Yes, this time is scary. But we will all get through it.