Kids with Autism In Quarantine: 5 Suggestions
Everyone is feeling the burden of quarantine during these hard times. Parents working from home that also care for a child with autism face unique challenges. When you are expected to work to pay the bills from your computer and also create a good life for your child, the strain can start to show.
Here are 5 tips on how you can help your child during this difficult time.
1. Keep Calm and Carry on
Right now, it may seem difficult to stay calm. Many parents feel the pressure of services shutting down and possible unemployment. It is important to control feelings of panic so you can help your child in situations where they might have a “meltdown”.
Even during the time of quarantine, we still need to make a place for them where they can feel safe and cared for. Offer a way for them to escape when things become too much.
This can be a bedroom where they can be alone and watch their favorite video. Perhaps you have a place in the backyard where they can enjoy nature and watch the sky so they can compose themselves. Having these things in place will make this process much easier.
2. Create A Routine
A parent may not realize how important it is to establish a solid schedule for their child with autism. Make a regular routine and stick with it! It might seem like a good idea to paint a room that was ignored for years, but this can create an assault on the senses. Even changing the lights in a room can prove upsetting. Keep startling noises to a minimum and work with your child to make an environment that they can predict and feel comfortable in with their favorite toys and videos ready.
3. Encourage Literacy
Now is the time to encourage reading with your child while you have the precious opportunity. Depending on reading level, keep track of their progress and mark each milestone! Each time they finish a book, add it to a fun poster or take them one step closer to a goal. Reading can be fun when you approach it with music or talking toys. Engage their senses and they will love reading.
4. Work Out Together
Working out is a great way to stay in shape and manage stress. When you are teaching them a new exercise, create a calm and warm environment. Provide plenty of encouragement using vocal cues so that they know you are happy with their progress. Visual cues are also great such as a quick thumbs up. Go for a hug after they do bear crawls or jumping jacks.
5. Modify Environment
Create a safe area for your child, complete with calming colors on the walls and lights that are not harsh. This safe room can have their favorite toys that calm them as well as a way to play videos that can take their mind off stressful events. When it seems like stress around them is becoming overwhelming, a safe room is the perfect thing to get a child out of a negative loop.