By Max Simpson, Steps Co-founder
As the parent of a 12 year old autistic son and an Special Educational Needs teacher, I am feeling it from both ends at the moment and to be honest…it is just really hard.
My son asks throughout the day, ‘how many days until COVID 19 finish?’ and I know how much it upsets him that we don’t know (we want to know too!) but the lack of routine, being stuck inside, and having parents working at home is a huge stress for him (and us!).
We have tried to put a kind of routine in place for him that gives him structure and us some designated working hours (we couldn’t be more thankful to the internet)!
Things we have used and liked are:
- Visual timetable maker
- Social stories about COVID
- Drawing with Mo Willems
- Exercise with Joe Wicks
- iPad apps like BrainPop, Teach Monster and Monster Physics (cool cause and effect missions)
We have noticed he is more hyper than usual, with lots of movement and stims he needs to release so we are doing some occupational therapy activities (sensory diet) whenever we have time and/or remember to do it. It is often when he is crab dancing (technical term) around the house that we realise that we forgot and feel like bad parents, but that’s normal, right!
An Occupational Therapist needs to have put this sensory diet in place for your child but as parents we know what our child likes/dislikes/seeks so we can use this list to give us an idea of activities we can do.
Other resources online
Autistica have produced a detailed guide to coping with anxiety, specifically aimed at people with autism.
And remember, we are here for you and your family if you need us, so please do drop us an email if there’s anything we can help with.
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