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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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Family Members

Whether it’s a sibling, grandparent, cousin, aunt, uncle or parent, it can be difficult to know how to properly support your family member on the spectrum. ASERT’s broad database of autism resources includes a variety of information helpful for family members.

Check out some of our top resources highlighted below, or search through the hundreds of resources available for family members!

The Spectrum of Communication

Communication permits us to advocate for our needs, develop relationships, and participate in our community. When supporting someone with Autism, the most important thing to keep in mind at all times is that speech does not equal communication.

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PA Family Network

The PA Family Network was created to support families and the major elements of the Community of Practice goals.

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Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance (PFSA)

Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance provides education, support, and training programs to make Pennsylvania safe for children.

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Desensitization and Wearing a Mask

As a result of COVID-19, health care providers have recommended people wear masks as a way to prevent the spread of the disease. Wearing masks can be uncomfortable, and for individuals who have sensory sensitivities, it can be even harder. These resources provide a guide for families and caregivers on how to work with loved ones on getting comfortable wearing a mask, different types of masks based on individual needs, as well as information on communicating while wearing masks for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.

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Discussing Concerns with Family Members

It is natural to be unsure of how to share your concerns with family members.

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Early Childhood Learning Centers and the ADA

This resource helps with understanding the Americans with Disabilities Act, or the ADA, in terms of Early Childhood Learning Centers.

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Early Childhood Screening and Diagnosis

This resource, developed by ASERT, provides information on the process of screening and diagnosing an individual with autism.

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Early Indicators of Autism Spectrum Disorder

The earliest symptoms of ASD can emerge between 6 – 18 months of age, with reliable diagnosis possible by 24 months. These symptoms are developmental “red flags” and do not necessarily mean your child has ASD but you may want to contact your child’s doctor if you notice these symptoms in your child.

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Early Intervention in Philadelphia

Early Intervention (EI) is a free service and support for families who have a child or children 0 - 5 years old with developmental delays. Services can take place at home, preschool, day care or Elwyn site. These programs are funded by the Office of Child Development and Early Learning. Services are only available for those who qualify.

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Elements of a Well-Rounded Evaluation

This resource from The PEAL Center gives information on the elements that a well-rounded initial evaluation should include. Elements include an intelligence assessment, academic achievement assessment, parent input, student input, teacher input, and formal observation.

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Emergency Responder Notification Forms

Several counties throughout the commonwealth have created their own form to notify emergency responders that an individual with autism lives at a particular address. It is important for emergency responders to be made aware of who lives in the home, any sensitivities than an individual with autism may have and the types of behavior the responders may witness so they are better prepared to safely handle the situation.

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Estate Planning Special Needs Alliance

Providing the best quality of life requires informed decisions. The best way to provide your special needs child with compassionate care and a comfortable life is to support your legal and financial decisions with reliable information and proven expertise. That’s why America’s finest disability attorneys have combined their talents to create the Special Needs Alliance. As attorneys in the field of Disability and Public Benefits Law, we help to enhance your child’s quality of life. Every member of the alliance has the resources and legal expertise to help you maintain public benefits for your child and develop effective estate plans that protect your assets.

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Evidence-Based Practices

This resource provides information about evidence-based practices, what it means, how they're determined and a list of established treatments from the National Standards Project.

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