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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health and Safety Guide

ASERT has put together some resources for those with autism and those who care for people with autism relating to the current Coronavirus outbreak.

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Staying Connected

By Out-of-Sync Woman

With living on my own, it’s easy to get lost in my own world. Especially these days when we’re encouraged to self-isolate and to use social distancing. I sometimes struggle to connect with other people. I struggle to remember to reach out to others so I write down “call” or “text” on my calendar or to-do list. I set reminders on my phone too in case I forget to check either my calendar or lose my to-do list.

I’m making an effort these days to reach out to the people who are important to me like friends and family. I’m texting, emailing and calling more these days. I’m trying to communicate to these people that I care about them and that I’m interested in their lives. I’m not always that good at expressing myself but I think I’m getting better with practice.

I’m finding the balance between reaching out to others and not being overwhelming to other people. I’m asking my friends and family “how often do you want and need to hear from me?” I also try to understand if they’re busy or can’t talk right then or text. I’ve been asking them if it’s a good time before I get started talking or texting. If it’s not, I ask them to get back to me when it’s a better time.

I think I’m a pretty good listener so what I struggle with is expressing myself and communicating what is actually going on with me. I have a tendency to listen to the other person and sometimes not tell them what’s going on with me. On the other hand, I sometimes have a hard time listening because I’m upset or anxious and I just want to get all the stuff that’s on my chest off without thinking how this is affecting the other person. Talking to another person, whether in person or texting, is a back-and-forth game like tennis. One person says something then waits, listens to what the other person has to say and then responds. Easy enough to explain but it’s sometimes hard to put in practice.

I’m so grateful I have people who want to hear from me and want to know how I’m doing. I remind myself that I’m not alone. That I have the means to reach out to people who care about me. This knowledge helps me feel better about what’s going on these days.

Emailing, texting and calling people keeps me in touch with those I care about during a time when we’re encouraged to use physical social distancing but still keeps me socially connected. Remember, if you’re feeling anxious or having a hard time, you can call somebody, text, email or even write a letter. Sending virtual best wishes to everyone to be safe and smart.