Summary and References

Plotting a course through the COVID-19 pandemic is a trying experience for all. Caregivers supporting individuals with autism during this time face extra challenges. These 7 strategies and the associated resources and examples will allow individuals with autism to better understand COVID-19, cope with the many changes associated with COVID-19, and practice communication, social, and adaptive skills that may reduce some of the trials during this very uncertain time.

As a caregiver, it is easy to be focused on how this time of uncertainty is impacting the child(ren) in the home, especially those with additional needs, but this pandemic has considerable impact on all family members. We encourage caregivers to prioritize their own self-care in whatever form that takes – meditation, connecting with other parents who understand the situation, watching a favorite show, enjoying a snack alone, exercise, or taking an extra-long shower. Caregivers, alongside the individual with autism, are navigating unprecedented territory without a clear end point which requires ongoing acts of self-kindness and self-preservation.

To learn more about autism, the strategies in this article, and other evidence based practices please visit our free, interactive online modules, AFIRM: https://afirm.fpg.unc.edu/afirm-modules

Acknowledgements

The research reported here was supported by the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education through Grant R324B160038 awarded to University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The opinions expressed represent those of the authors and do not represent the U.S. Department of Education.

Suggested Citation

Hume, K., Waters, V., Sam, A., Steinbrenner, J., Perkins, Y., Dees, B., Tomaszewski, B., Rentschler, L., Szendrey, S., McIntyre, N., White, M., Nowell, S., & Odom, S. (2020). Supporting individuals with autism through uncertain times. Chapel Hill, NC: School of Education and Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retreived from: https://afirm.fpg.unc.edu/supporting-individuals-autism-through-uncertain-times

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