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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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Staying Connected at Home

Self-Advocates

You may have felt a lot of changes in your life in the last few months. You may have gotten new staff and some activities may have totally stopped. It will take time for activities to start again. You may want to talk with your support staff and friends. You may have only seen your staff online or talked to them over the phone. Have you felt like you are not part of the community because you are not able to go out like you usually do? The following guide shares some tips to help you stay connected to friends, family, and others while staying home.

Think about how your days have changed:

  • Make a list of things that you cannot do anymore.
  • Think about things that can be done over video or phone calls
  • Talk to your family about how your days have changed.
  • Call or text friends to talk about how their days have changed.
  • Make plans with a friend to watch the same movie or show… then talk about it!

Here are some ways to keep busy at home:

  • Ask the people you live with if there is anything you can do to help
  • Give yourself some jobs at home, like…
    • setting up games for game night
    • taking care of pets
    • choosing a movie
    • planning meals (where to order, what to eat)
    • cooking
    • setting the table
    • cleaning

Meeting New Staff Over Phone or Video

Telehealth is using phone and video calls to get medical and other services at home. Your staff may have changed since staying at home. It may feel hard to meet a new support or medical provider over video or phone call. Here are some things you can do to make the first meeting go well:

  • Text or email the new provider before the call
  • Choose a good time to have a meeting
  • Make a list of questions you may have

How to be Part of Your Community

Telehealth Appointments

  • Talk to staff and others through phone or video calls.
  • If your staff is new, text or email them to introduce yourself.
  • Make sure your phone, tablet, or computer is charged before the appointment.
  • Pick topics to discuss before the appointment.

Talking to Friends and Staff

  • Ask staff and friends for their phone numbers and put them in a safe place.
  • Think of fun activities you can do with friends, family, and support staff over video call.

Activity ideas-listening and singing along to music together, playing Pictionary, playing online games, reading stories, watching a movie or show together, etc.

Being Part of the Community

  • Many workplaces, organizations, and day programs will stay closed for a while.
  • Things will open again at different times.
  • Using social media is a good way to connect to friends.
  • You can go to parks to meet up with friends and family.
  • Be sure to follow rules like wearing a mask and staying six feet away from other people.

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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.