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.
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.
While people with Autism may speak, they may experience significant challenges communicating, or getting their thoughts, dreams, and needs across in a manner that others readily understand. For those who don’t speak — as well as those who may use spoken language — in addition to supportive forms of communication (from smart phones, to tablets, to AAC devices, to sign language), your ability to accept how they must communicate and to provide necessary individualized supports is empowering. Never assume that an individual is not able to communicate because they don’t use spoken language, and never assume a person is able to communicate because they speak. This can be a challenging concept to understand; however, because Autism is a condition that features significant differences in social-communication, you will feel most rewarded in your work by finding out about and using the forms of communication someone you support turns to on a daily basis. Presume competence and take the time to learn how to communicate with someone you support using his or her preferred methods.
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.