With the Stay at home orders happening currently in the world, as a parent we are wondering how to keep the kids busy as well as utilize their time productively.
As a special needs caregiver, your worry is even more since your child will miss the social skills, speech therapy, physical therapy or occupational therapy in school etc. Including ABA clinics that has been closed for safety reasons as well as in home ABA therapy sessions are cancelled.
I understand the situation is really stressful. My 13 yr old typical kid has settled well with his own created routine. Nevertheless for my 9 yr old ASD kid it started rough last week but fortunately with the second week entry he is getting used to a new “routine“.
The one valuable practice that I implemented which has helped my son to transition into the current pandemic situation is developing a clear Routine.
Create a Routine or a Schedule – It is imperative for kids with Autism to have a routine. Under the current situation the routine has taken a topsy turvy.
Loss of access to daily schedules can mean regression in their skills that may also escalate anxiety and problem behaviors.
It may seem impossible to create schedule like school where your child was kept busy working on his IEP goals, PE time etc. Nevertheless, a simple schedule adapting to your home environment like the sample schedule below can also do wonders.
This schedule has been shared many times already on social media. I am not sure where it was originally sourced from. My sincere thanks to the good samaritan who put their thoughts and efforts on this remarkable piece.
The goal here is, to set the expectation of the child what happens NEXT. You can also create a visual schedule to support the child who has communication needs.
Visual Schedule –
Wikipedia defines as
Visual scheduling is a systematic technique that enhances learning and communication for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). These types of visual support systems provide teachers and parents with the tools needed to help children reach development goals and achieve success in life.
It is a graphic representation of scheduled tasks and activities. They are very useful for breaking down tasks that have multiple steps and ensuring that children follow rules and deadlines. Visual schedules reduce anxiety through providing consistency while also reducing resistance that comes with certain activities.
If you are still confused with all this jargons and not sure how to help your child cope with this situation, reach out to his school teacher. They are really wonderful passionate souls who are working extremely hard in this situation.
Your teacher sure knows about your child and will be every ready to come to your rescue.