24 Mar Autism, Parenting and COVID-19
Because the COVID-19 pandemic is uniquely impacting my family, I understand that many people with autism and their families are also directly affected. Whether it is a disruption in therapy services, closures in school or extracurricular activity closures, this pandemic is fluid and developing further. I believe we are not even close to seeing what is to come.
However, in the midst of the storm, there is always light, and I think many of us mama bears get profoundly lost in proper planning. After all, for the autism mom, a strict schedule is often the key to our success. It’s natural to be concerned, give yourself a day, and break away from the worry for your peace and ease of your children. They are little sponges that can feel when you’re worried. I want to encourage you to drop the concerns about the future, and please do not pull your children into your worries.
We have such an extraordinary opportunity to strengthen the spirit of our children by being hopeful, agile, and determined to live our best Happie Lives.
Below are four ways you can help your kiddos:
1. Keep things the same as they are becoming different.
The idea here is while we are all adapting, you remained unchanged, firm, and on solid ground. The truth of the matter is, it’s so easy for our children to be entertained by their electronic devices. That’s a no, no.
Let me tell you, leaving your kids with open access to all media outlets will create worry within their hearts. We have to pay close attention to the children and young people in your life. They are not exempt from having thoughts and feelings about all of this.
2. Create a visual schedule.
You can stick to your new routine so that your child can rely on the familiar amidst the unfamiliar. Including building in downtime for you as well as your child. Please take a look at our sample schedule below:
When your child starts venting or expressing how much they miss their friends or extracurricular activities, try not to let guilt set in. The situation is what it is, and it calls for you to be the best example of making lemonade out of lemons. If you allow your guilt to overweigh your confidence, you’ll allow exceptions to your new rules as special treats to make things easier for your child. Don’t do that. Just stick to the schedule and offer a gift of encouragement after your child has completed the tasks on their list.
Can you remember the last time you cooked breakfast in the morning or had the opportunity to work while your children studied at the same time? Can you imagine a fun movie night? While we are all adjusting, there is always a silver lining!
My prayer is that peace consumes you and hope overtakes you. There are people all over the world and in our home communities that are going without. As you are a chief in your children’s lives, also be a representative for the world.