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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health and Safety Guide

ASERT has put together some resources for those with autism and those who care for people with autism relating to the current Coronavirus outbreak.

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Community Members

In 2018, the CDC determined that approximately 1 in 59 children is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). As part of the broad Pennsylvania community, individuals with autism live and work among us, making these resources for the community a valuable and necessary asset.

American Psychiatric Association: ASD Fact Sheet

This fact sheet includes a new, more accurate, and medically and scientifically useful way of diagnosing individuals with autism-related disorders.

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Characteristics of Autism

This resource, designed for direct support staff, provides a basic introduction to the different characteristics of autism.

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Autism Society of America

The Autism Society of America (ASA) provides advocacy, education, information, referral, support and community at national, state and local levels through their nationwide network of Affiliates. Their website includes information on autism for individuals, parents, professionals and community members.

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Autism Speaks

Autism Speaks funds global biomedical research into the causes, prevention, treatments, and cure for autism; raises public awareness about autism and its effects on individuals, families, and society; and brings hope to all who deal with the hardships of this disorder.

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Getting Tested for COVID-19 Social Story

This resource, developed by ASERT, provides a visual guide for what to expect if someone needs to be tested for COVID-19. An animated version is also available.

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Going Back Into the Community Social Story

This resource provides a visual guide for individuals with autism about going back out into the community after the COVID-19 pandemic. The resource includes information about how to feel safe going back out and includes an animated version. This resource has also been translated into Spanish, Arabic, Russian, and Chinese.

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Going Back to Work Social Story

This resource provides a visual guide for individuals with autism about going back to work after the COVID-19 pandemic. The resource includes information on what will be different at work because of the pandemic.

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Going Shopping During COVID-19

This resource provides a visual guide for individuals with autism about going shopping during the COVID-19 pandemic. An animated version of the social story is also included.

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Government Benefits & Economic Impact Payment During COVID-19

This resource provides information on benefits and payments from the government that individuals may receive due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Hand Washing Social Story

This resource provides a visual guide for individuals with autism on how to wash hands to help stay healthy. This resource has also been translated into Russian, Chinese, Spanish, and Arabic.

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Hosting a Sensory Friendly Event

A sensory friendly event is an event that is designed to be less sensory stimulating and overwhelming. This approach often makes it easier for individuals who have sensory sensitivities, such as those with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), who are sensitive to things like noise, colors, sounds and smells, to participate in social activities and community or professional events. If your event is open to the public, you may not know if someone planning to attend has sensory sensitivities. It is therefore important to consider ways to make events welcoming for everyone who may attend.

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How I See It: Coping with Coronavirus

As part of the "How I See It" series on PAAutism.org and ASDNext.org, people in the Pennsylvania autism community share their thoughts on staying safe and healthy through the coronavirus pandemic.

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How to Approach Individuals with Autism

This information sheet from ASERT provides tips and suggestions for justice system professionals on approaching individuals with autism.

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