The coronavirus has turned our world upside down. Adults are staying home from work, everyone is walking around with masks on, worry about finances has many adults scared, and schools are closed in many places. You know how frightening and confusing this time is. Imagine being a child, especially one with autism, and coronavirus discussions are everywhere. In order to help your child cope with all these changes, you know you need to talk to them about it, but where do you start and how do you make them understand? At Camp Worth, we understand how to make autism and coronavirus discussions less challenging. Contact our team today at 855.915.2545 for more information about having this discussion.
Listen to Your Child
One of the best things you can do is listen to what your child is saying. Have they asked questions? If so, answer as simply and thoroughly as possible. Try to find out how your child is feeling about all the changes they are seeing around them. While you may not think your child has noticed much, because many with autism suffer from transition challenges, coronavirus has impacted your child. They may be trying to process all the emotions of the moment.
Keep It Simple
You don’t have to get into a deep, scientific explanation of coronavirus. Explain that it is a virus, which is like the germs that cause colds or flu. Let them know that this virus can make a person very sick, but there are things you can do to stay safe. Explain safety acts such as wearing a mask and washing their hands. Post a sign with a visual representation if that will help. Try explaining things in story form if that is how your child best learns. Whatever you do, try not to appear too worried. Keep the discussion on your child’s level at all costs.
Prepare For Changes
Autism and coronavirus don’t agree on the need for consistency. Many people are facing unique challenges, which can make your child uneasy. Try to anticipate changes like not attending physical school or parents staying home from work. Explain what is going to happen in advance as much as possible. If your child goes shopping with you, explain the possibility of empty shelves, having to keep your distance from others, and other changes such as a virtual education program. The more you can prepare your child for what changes they will experience, the quicker they will be able to adapt.
Help With Safety Measures
One of the biggest issues you may face is helping your child comply with safety measures, especially the wearing of a mask in public. Sensory issues often cause an object on their face to initiate panic. After you have explained how important wearing the mask is to help keep everyone safe, practice wearing the mask at home. Waiting for a trip to the store is asking for a meltdown with most kids. If your child has a problem, try desensitizing them. Reward them for wearing the mask a minute or two. Keep increasing the time as they adjust, offering rewards for compliance.
Discover Camp Worth
Discussions about autism and coronavirus in TX are an everyday occurrence here at Camp Worth. Dealing with autism is what we do. Furthermore, many of our residents are high functioning, and they are older, which may make these discussions easier. We offer several excellent treatment options, including:
- Counseling and behavioral analysis
- Medication management
- Autism parent training program
- Food and nutrition program
Reach out to us at 855.915.2545, and we can help you address the subject of autism and coronavirus. You don’t have to navigate this world of parenting an adolescent with autism alone. We are here to help you and your child get through this challenging period and age. The future is bright for kids who attend Camp Worth.