Keeping Calm During the Outbreak

Posted by Rebecca Black on Tuesday, March 17, 2020 Under: Autism Parents
If you, like me, are home now full-time with your autistic child, please know a few things:

1. You can do this -- you are mighty
2. You may not feel mighty
3. I am praying for you every day

We all know how much any change to routine is hard for our children-- all children in fact, but especially children and adults on the Spectrum. Many states, including mine, has asked us all to stay home - not to engage in public programs and not to gather in groups.

What this means for the ASD Community is of course the loss of programs and structure for our loved ones -- those who most need structure, and an unvarying, unchanging routine. 

There are a number of ideas out there, and I will collect them and put them on this website as I find them.

For ourselves, we are incorporating a new structure. My daughter is an adult now (23) so what we do will of course be different from what a family with younger children will do, but some of the basics are the same:

1. Create routine and make it clear
  • An issue for us is the "grab and go" in the kitchen. A preferred structure is to have set meal times. So I have declared the kitchen CLOSED during non-meal times; Open for water but nothing else. This is helping to create a frame to the day AND to cut down on anxiety eating. here's our simple POSTED schedule: KITCHEN SCHEDULE  Notice how specific the schedule is -- I know from experience that there will be testing of this rules, and as many ways to re-interpret them as possible will be suggested. So, the more specific I am at the beginning, the easier it is to maintain
  • A family activity schedule: we tend to scatter into our rooms and isolate ourselves on our computers. while that may be soothing at first, maintaining some sort of social schedule is still important. So, we have decided on an activity schedule which may vary slightly from week to week: ACTIVITY SCHEDULE. Ours is based on the weather in our area (it snowed last night!) and I've tried to set expectations of what we will and WILL NOT do. Setting expectation ahead of time helps minimize meltdowns!
2. Staying Calm: One of the hardest things to do at this time is to balance your own fears and anxiety, stress about work, worries about the future with the need to stay calm.  Find what works best for you to keep calm and peaceful, and remind yourself to take breaks!


I'll add more ideas when I write again next week -- please share your resources and ideas as well!

LOVING ALL OF US! Stay well and find joy!

In : Autism Parents 

Tags: corona virus  autism  autism families  staying home  new challenges  quarantine