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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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Coping with Coronavirus

Planning for COVID-19 Care: A resource for parents and caregivers

COVID-19 has changed many aspects of everyday life. Given the rapid nature of the virus’ spread, it’s a good idea to plan ahead. This resource will offer some tips to help individuals and families prepare.

Create a Care Plan

Before you get sick you’ll want to create a plan. This plan should include all of your available supports and resources including who will care for your children (or pets), what you will do to care for yourself, and emergency contact information for first responders. Individuals with autism often struggle with unexpected changes in routine so your care plan should take that into consideration. Identify people who can come to your home rather than moving the child to help reduce the amount of changes in their routine.

Be Vigilant

Some individuals with autism may not understand the precautions and guidelines that have been put in place. Keeping areas of your home that are touched frequently clean and sanitized can help reduce your family’s risk of infection. It is also important to monitor individuals for unsanitary behaviors (touching face, not frequently cleaning their hands). Try making hand washing and sanitizing a part of the routine to provide them some type of structure by creating a consistent schedule for hand washing and sanitizing.

Stay Inside

Social distancing has been recommended to help stop the spread of COVID-19. While this can be very hard to do, here are some tips to help you get
through it:

  • Make sure you stock up on food and other essentials
  • Keep in contact digitally to reduce isolation
  • Have the family practice yoga or other relaxation techniques to help keep everyone calm
  • Find new games and activities to try as a family
  • Try a new recipe
  • Use online learning tools

Taking Care of Yourself: A resource for self-advocates, parents and caregivers

Keep in Contact Digitally

We can still keep in contact with friends and family while we have to practice social distancing. Video chat, text, and call the people closest to you. Having regular contact with people can help you feel less alone.

Create a Routine

It can be challenging to have a lot of free time. Try to create a schedule for yourself and stick to it. Having a routine in place can help you make use of your time that is meaningful to you. A schedule can also help decrease anxiety.

Don’t Skip Healthy Habits

Things like eating healthy, taking your medication, and keeping up on cleaning are all important things to continue to do. Try to do some exercise, like stretching at home or going for a walk in your neighborhood. A few minutes of exercise can improve your mood and keep your body healthy.

Calm Your Mind

Make a list of things that you do that help calm you down. Some examples might be re-watching your favorite shows, reading your favorite books, or doing yoga. Your daily routine should include activities that help you feel relaxed.

Avoid Fake News

It is good to keep up on current events and to know the facts about COVID-19. There is a lot of untrue news, especially on social media. Check to make sure that what you are reading is from a trusted news source. Limiting how often you check the news to just once or twice a day can also help reduce anxiety.

Keeping Busy-At Home Activities:A resource for self-advocates, parents and caregivers

  • Try a new recipe:The internet is a great place to find new recipes to cook that you and your family might enjoy. You can try making it alone or with your family!
  • Start a garden:Pick out some fruits and vegetables and start an indoor garden. You can also use this as practice and take your gardening outside when the weather is warm.
  • Read a book: It can be hard to find time to read while you’re busy with school or work. This may be the perfect chance to read a book you’ve been wanting to get into
  • Play a board game: Dive into a game of Yahtzee, Apples to Apples or any other game that your family likes to play. Have everyone take turns picking games so that everyone gets a chance to play what they like.
  • Try yoga classes/exercise:Yoga is an great way to stay fit and clear your mind. YouTube offers many free beginner yoga classes that walk you through exercises to get you started.
  • Put together a puzzle: Puzzles are a great way for your family to connect and practice teamwork. Empty the pieces on a table and work through the image together. Want to save the finished product? Glue a backing onto the puzzle to display your hard work.
  • Make homemade greeting cards: Clear off the kitchen table and break out the construction paper, pens, and glue. Handmade cards are a unique way for your family to connect and do something creative together. Have each family member write a personal message long or short, to the recipients.
  • Knit or crochet a scarf: Sit down on the living room sofa with some yarn and give knitting a try. There are many resources on the internet for beginners to get you started.
  • Take an online class: Take an online course to hone or develop a new skill. You can find a lot of different types of courses online from language learning to learning how to
    write code. You’ll find hundreds of courses to suit your interests on learning platforms like Teachable, Udemy, and Coursera.
  • Watch classic movies: Pop some popcorn, and find the Academy Award winners from past decades. You might be surprised how exciting and romantic these old classics can be.

 

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Other downloads

Name Description Type File
Coping with Coronavirus At Home Activities pdf Download file: Coping with Coronavirus
Coping with Coronavirus Taking Care of Yourself pdf Download file: Coping with Coronavirus
Coping with Coronavirus Planning for COVID-19 Care pdf Download file: Coping with Coronavirus