Parenting in 2020-2021 is unlike anything we have experienced before. We are constrained to our homes, we have limited interaction with the outside world, our kids are socially secluded, and wearing a mask is the new accessory everyone owns. Parenting in 2020-2021 is challenging to say the very least.
Just as we saw some change at the end of a very long tunnel, we are having to step back into our bubble once again as we ride out the new storm of the COVID-19.
For the autism community, COVID-19 is extremely hard to navigate. Sensory aversions make wearing a mask harder, social groups are tough to find and participate in, and online therapies and teaching is challenging for everyone involved. Parents are expected to do more but are now working from home and must play the role of therapist, teacher, and provider all at once. Parenting in 2020-2021 is feeling impossible at times.
The good news is there are so many great resources out there to help us learn and understand this new normal of life. Autism Speaks has created an entire section of their site on information about Covid-19 for families, caregivers, individuals with an autism diagnosis, and healthcare providers. They even have provided different events and virtual activities the autism community can attend and participate in. Autism Speaks also has a special page for families that offers a huge amount of information on topics such as:
- Parent Training and Support
- Behavioral Resources
- Stress and Mental Health
- Teaching Stories and Visual Supports
- Educational Resources
Another amazing source for information is the Autism Society. The Autism Society has compiled resources for families and caregivers of individuals with an autism diagnosis. They have made a promise to provide the latest information and resources to the autism community to help guide them along this Covid-19 journey. Autism Society created a toolkit for the autism community which includes resources and information on:
- Mental Health and Respite
- Modifying Routines
- Lifestyle Supports
- Public Policy
- Social Stories
- Healthcare Resources
- Live Information Series: Featuring weekly discussions with experts on specific topics.
All the resources above are very helpful and easy to navigate. There are social stories on what Covid-19 is, navigating caregivers going back to work, getting a nasal swab test, and much more. Each story is written in simple language and uses real life or character pictures to illustrate the points of the information. Social stories are a great way to teach individuals with autism what to expect during different situations. With COVID-19 we may not always understand where this new path is taking us, but we can help the autism community be prepared for certain situations ahead of time.
Navigating this new normal is not an easy feat. It can be overwhelming, tiresome, and stressful. Thankfully there are so many amazing resources out there to help us get through this tough time. Remember you are not alone during this phase of life and there are numerous amounts resources and people ready to help and assist you during this time.
ABA Autism Therapy serves families throughout Pennsylvania and Connecticut. Contact us today to discuss how we can assist you and your family!