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COVID-19 and Autism

WELLBEING TOP TIPS

The National Autistic Society (All)

The National Autistic Society have a wealth of resources, activities, guidance, games, videos  and online community support for those who are autistic or who are living with a family member who is autistic.  There is also lots of useful information for how to deal with the change and disruption of such an unprecedented situation. 

There is also information which details some of the issues that autistic adults and children might come across at this time and some tips and links to online resources to help combat these difficulties.  We have put some of the highlights below:

TOP TIPS FOR FAMILIES

Anxiety about unexpected changes or events

Support your child to remember your family’s plan has changed and might change again but you can always make a new one.

Sensory sensitivity

If you don’t have a quiet, sensory area in your home already, make one, even its it’s just the corner of one room.  Fill it with homemade sensory toys and activities.

Time to process information

Think about the minimum level of information your child needs; don’t overwhelm them.  Give them time to think about it and let them know they can come back to you later to ask questions

Social anxiety

If you’re feeling social isolated, connect to other parents on the Autism.org’s online community or get support through our Parent to Parent service

Communication and interaction

Agree with your child how you will communicate with them – via text, or in writing, or at specific times of the day

The full guidance can be found here

There are also lots of ideas and resources to support those who are the sibling of someone who is autistic here

How do I explain COVID-19?

Many parents are wondering how they can explain the coronavirus to someone who does have autism, so here are several resources which are suitable for all ages.

This guidance sheet from Mencap has simple explanations and pictures with information about coronavirus and what it is, the symptoms and what to do if you think you have any of them, find out more here

This is a story titled, “My Story About Pandemics and the Coronavirus” by Carol Grey.  It’s a simple and straightforward way of explaining what it is and what is being done to manage the situation, as well as how it is affecting the whole world, take a look at it here

 

TRY SOME LEARNING?!

Free Learning Resources (KS1-4)

The National Autistic Society have put together lots of resources created for World Autism Awareness Week have been developed for different key stages in line with the National Curriculum.  So if you want to do any teaching about being kind, learning about how we are the same, how we are different and understanding autism better, then these are good resources to use.  View the resources here

 

FUN THINGS TO DO!

Special episode of ‘Daisy & Ollie’ on Milkshake (Primary)

There is going to be a special episode of Daisy and Ollie to be broadcast on Milkshake on Channel 5 at 7.10am on Thursday 2nd April. 

Minecraft Games (All)

Microsoft has made some of its educational Minecraft games freely available.  The educational version is a specialised version of the hit block-building game that was designed for classroom use and will be available to download for free from the Minecraft Marketplace until 30 June, 2020.  The educational content lets players explore the International Space Station though a partnership with NASA, learn to code with a robot, visit famous Washington D.C. landmarks, find and build 3D fractals, learn what it’s like to be a marine biologist, and so much more.  Take a look here

Into Film (All)

Into Film provide a film club service for schools with curated content, resources and themes.  They focus on film for education and personal development and in light of schools closing they have provided 50 film guides and extension activities for parents to use with their children. There are Film guides for ages 5-7, 7-11, 11-14, 14-16 and 16+, with films ranging from The Secret Life of Pets 2, Moana and Interstellar.  The film guides are designed as informal prompts for discussion and have activities that children can take part in on their own.  They have chosen film titles that people are likely to have at home or are available on streaming services - available here