The Autism Society of Texas has compiled a list of resources related to COVID-19 and its impacts on the mental wellness of children and adults with Autism. Social distancing is good, but social isolation is bad and can be bad for your mental health!
What is a MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS? Endangerment to yourself or others or imminent distress. If you are in crisis and need immediate assistance, call 911. Use this 911 Checklist to assist you in making your call. Ask for the Crisis Intervention Team or request an officer trained in handling mental health cases. If you are in crisis, but it is not an immediate threat or emergency, consider the following resources…
Whether you’re at home with autistic children, teens, or adults and nowhere to go, we have some ideas. Consider using this extra time to master or start working on new skills. Without the rush or stress to get to places, there’s plenty of time to work on getting dressed, putting on shoes, and other life skills around the house such as laundry, cleaning, and basic cooking skills. Try some handwriting or keyboarding practice, or for teens who only print, perhaps learn to create a signature in cursive. Don’t forget about free online resources such as Learning Ally (free for those with disabilities), Khan Academy, and check your school online portal if you have one, as they usually have many free online learning tools.
To find visuals for supporting teaching of some life skills, check Pinterest. Using “Autism” in your search will usually bring up some great visuals and social stories. (Suggested searches: “How to get dressed Autism,” “How to make a sandwich Autism”). Start with the skills the individual already has, and add something new. Model and explain it, have them practice with you, and have a visual reminder to support the new skill.
Here are examples of visual supports from Pinterest: