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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health and Safety Guide

ASERT has compiled resources for those with autism and those who care for people with autism relating to the current COVID-19 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.

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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Guest Speaker Topics for Autism Support Groups (Ages 17+)

This resource developed by ASERT gives examples of topics for guest speakers to talk about at autism support groups with members that are 17 and older.

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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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Holidays in 2020 Social Story

This social story provides a visual explanation of some of the changes to holiday celebrations that people may have due to COVID-19.

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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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Information for Law Enforcement and Other First Responders

This document contains a description of autism, ways that individuals with autism may behave, and considerations for first responders when interacting with people with autism.

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Isolation Social Story

This social story provides a visual explanation of what it means to be in isolation if someone has the coronavirus, or COVID-19. An animated version is also available.

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Justice Resource Collection

This is a collection of resources on the topic of the justice system for justice system professionals and individuals with autism. Topics range from the law to court appearances, interacting with police, and more.

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