Promoting empathy to children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: COVID -19 Pandemic

Understanding children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can be a challenge for parents, especially in this pandemic. And with the stresses and disruptions of the coronavirus crisis, parents are struggling to balance work, child care, and self-care while keeping worries — both your children’s and your own — under control.

If you’re the parent of a child with ASD, read on for tips on how to increase the understanding and needs of your child in this crisis when you both are struggling at your own level on the other hand respecting your child’s autonomy and keeping fights to a minimum.

“Behind the child that makes the most the progress, is an actively involved parent”!

Support understanding with visual aids and social narratives

To support individuals with ASD understanding about COVID-19, communication is best when paired with visual aids or social narratives (simple stories explaining a social situation). These techniques will allow the person with autism the opportunity to process information in multiple formats given potential receptive communication deficits. Often, children with ASD benefit from having a visual representation of their goal. So if you want them to set the table, for example, having a picture on hand of exactly how the plates should go can be a big help. A list where kids can check off tasks as they go can also make it easier. For example, if you want your child should wash hands when you enter into a home or in any other condition stick a picture at your washbasin it will really help and the child will understand after the attempt of seeing and visualizing .

Be simple and direct in your language “ If you want to make your child complete the task you have to be super specific,” For example, instead of saying, “Can you finish setting the table?” you might say, “Please put the plates on the table.” The idea is to let your child know exactly what your expectations are in the moment, rather than giving them a list of tasks or a general instruction. Already, A lot is going through in his mind. with simple commands what you expect him to do is much easier to understand!

Most of us are working from home in this crisis, we too need a plan to schedule our day, Similarly, our little toddlers need much more planned and disciple plan to stick it. As our way of living life are somewhat changed, kids plan and routines to have changed. Make a consistent plan for a month or so which involves home therapies plan constructive play, any activity

( make a day plan which involves activity ) I too have mentioned many activities you can visit on this to search for more activities

Make a Reward All kids appreciate acknowledgment for a job well done, so offer small rewards when your child does cooperate. “This could be as simple as a high five or maybe a group clap from a family to a kid,”. Tell your child at the end of the day what best he had done today

Take plenty of breaks Once your child completes a chunk of work, here work can be completed any activity or completing home therapy plans, encourages them to take a break with some physical activity, whether that’s going for a walk, playing in the yard or dancing to a favorite song.

Relationships building Keep virtual contact with friends and relatives, therapy teachers with such internet apps like FaceTime, Duo, or Zoom. Encourage close family or a friend to read to your child via these tools, or if possible, have your child ‘visit’ other people that are important to them through such platforms. It is important to keep those familiar connections; children often fear that when they do not regularly see people that they care about, they may be gone, which may increase anxiety. When asked what they want more than anything, most children will say they want more time with their parents. This may be a good opportunity to make that happen.

Physical activity Encourage gross motor activity (riding a bike, walking, etc.) as most appropriate for your child and weather conditions. I have posted many activities in my other blog you can check!

Monitor for changes in behavior Children with autism often have difficulties expressing their emotions including fear, frustration, and anxiety. Difficulties in expressive communication may be compounded by expressive communication delays, limited verbal and nonverbal skills, and social communication deficits. They may communicate heightened emotions through changes in behavior including increased repetitive behaviors, tantrums, and behavioral outbursts, difficulty following directions, and lower frustration tolerance.
Provide opportunities for your child to engage in coping and calming strategies that they find helpful. If significant behavioral changes occur, additional support from a behavioral therapist, mental health, or medical provider may be needed.

All the tips mentioned above are easy to read but if you start making it routine trust me you will observe changes in your child and new output has come from children

Happy learning!

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