Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Staying at Home for Children with Autism: Positive Living in the Times of the Pandemic

Staying at Home for Children with Autism: Positive Living in the Times of the Pandemic

                April, being the autism awareness month, has always been special and meaningful to those within the autistic spectrum and their families. This April has however turned out to be different, with the Covid-19 pandemic tightening its grasp upon countries and societies across the world, making life full of challenges for many out there. This can be trying times particularly for those families with children in the autistic spectrum. Read on, for some insights into the possibilities of positive living in the times of the pandemic, for those who live with autism.

Dealing with Autism in the Pandemic Months
                An invasive way in which the coronavirus bout has brought our life to a standstill is by forcing us to stay at home. While this can be difficult for all who find social interaction important, this can be especially trying for families with children in the autistic spectrum. It becomes a major hurdle for those kids who are used to attending special schools, as they might have to go without the regular professional care they used to receive. Children with autism often tend to find the presence of one or two people in their lives more comforting than the rest, and for many, usually a trainer or an educator fills this space outside their immediate family. Missing these people could have a great toll on them. The homeschooled children might also find these times unsettling, as the stay at home orders have necessarily upset this routine as well. Unsettled routines and unfamiliar scheduling of time are not necessarily something that kids with autism can easily keep up with, because regularized living is a great source of calmness as it makes life predictable for them.
If the children within the spectrum find the lockdown challenging for these reasons, this can be a difficult time for the parents too. With the option of school unavailable and the professional care absent, parenting at home could become difficult. In emotionally charged times like these, with the parents themselves vulnerable to the negative news spreading all around, dealing with their children’s mood swings and meltdowns could become more difficult.
While a single solution seems unrealistic, some sure tips are these:
  • Routinizing the lives of children by engaging them in any meaningful activity that they love could help. A hobby or activity that they are really into, like drawing, games, or martial arts could help children by channelizing their energy.
  • In the times of the pandemic, many institutions provide online means of taking part in activities and lessons, which can be accessed through internet. These could help.
  • Keeping children in contact with their trainers and educators, if they are available, through video calls could be helpful.
  • Less media exposure in this age of disaster news could further help both parents and children, by reducing the anxious energy at home.
  • Parents should also actively try to seek out whatever time they can find for self-care. Several online communities for parents can act as enormously helpful support groups in this regard.
In times of a crisis like this, positive thinking and conscious choice of positive emotions could be the only means to get through. Let this autism awareness month take us all a step closer to positive, meaningful and stress-free living.

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