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.
Change is part of everyday life. The ability to change is central to our growth as individuals. For people with autism, who often rely on predictability and routine to feel calm and safe, change can affect them differently. Adjusting to new situations may be met with anxiety, fear, or resistance. Fortunately, there are strategies you can use to ease adjustment to new situations.
Try to give advance notice about new situations, if possible. Share details about the change and how it could affect the person. Discuss the positive outcomes of the new situation or change. Use visual tools to provide predictability and structure. Examples may include:
Suggest use of calming strategies using fidgets (hand-held items that are non-intrusive and can be manipulated by the user, ranging from squeeze toys to knitting) Model positive self-talk, provide time to adjust before trying a new strategy, listen and validate the person’s experience, offer breaks when needed.
Always positively reinforce attempts to cope with change. During periods of routine, include
new or different activities into daily schedules to build stamina for change.
This information was developed by the Autism Services, Education, Resources, and Training Collaborative (ASERT). For more information, please contact ASERT at 877-231-4244 or info@PAautism.org. ASERT is funded by the Bureau of Supports for Autism and Special Populations, PA Department of Human Services.