As the country experiences a time of crisis from the novel coronavirus, kids are not exempt from feelings of confusion or insecurity. It is important for kids to feel safe and secure while we strive to keep their bodies healthy during this pandemic. Here are some tips for parents and caregivers as they work to ensure that their kids stay healthy in both mind and body.
1. Communicate. For younger kids and kids with ASD, it may be a good idea to implement visual tools to explain why they have to stay at home. We like this free printable social story for explaining the virus. Reassure kids that these changes in their routine won’t last forever.
2. Teach good hygiene. The CDC recommends these practices for staying healthy during the Covid-19 crisis. Teaching good hand-washing skills is imperative. For kids, we really like social stories like this one to print and hang near the sink. Also, try singing some fun songs for 20 seconds to ensure that right amount of time is spent washing.
Kids should stay home right now, but if they have to be in public for medical treatment of grocery shopping kids over two may wear a mask. There are many DIY options for making protective face wear, but please remember that babies and toddlers under 2 years-old should not wear masks.
3. Establish a routine. Most kids have experienced a disruption in their routine lately. While all children thrive with routine, kids with ASD may be more negatively impacted by the changes. While strict schedules are not usually necessary, it is a good idea to find a routine that works and stick with it. You can read more about our suggestions for quarantine routine here.4. Take advantage of telemedicine. Siskin Children’s Institute, along with many other offices across the nation have transitioned to telemedicine. It is important to continue any therapies or treatments your child typically receives. Reach out to your child’s healthcare provider for more information on telemedicine.
CONTENT PROVIDED BY: Rachel Green, Home and Community-Based Early Intervention