COVID-19 is a global vaccine initiative, which aims to provide vaccines for all children in all countries. This guide provides insights on how to navigate the complicated world of parenting and family health during COVID-19.
The “guide to parenting books” is a list of resources that can be used to help parents with autism. The resource includes books, articles, websites and more.
COVID-19 has had a significant impact on practically every element of family life. With the number of new instances projected to increase everyday, parents may be stuck in this scenario for a long time.
Many parents are finding themselves in the position of needing to work from home while still educating their children. Others work in critical roles, balancing employment outside the house with inadequate childcare choices.
Parents with just one kid may find it difficult to balance their busy schedules and demanding expectations. Parents who have a large family may feel overwhelmed. Parents of children with autism confront much more difficulties.
In the best of circumstances, maintaining a family’s health is difficult. During a worldwide epidemic, the task becomes considerably more difficult.
But it’s not out of the question.
Keeping Calm in the Face of a Pandemic
Families all across the globe are developing new routines and best practices to maintain mental and physical wellness. From their dining room tables and kitchen counters, they’re guiding and instructing their children. And they’re doing it in the midst of social distance, so a youngster will only see their cheerful faces in real time.
Families parenting children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or any mental illness face similar challenges, but with different expectations. Long after the lockdowns fade from memory, the lessons they’re learning are likely to stick with the education and wellness communities.
You’re not alone if you’re struggling to meet the task. Everyone is feeling overloaded these days, and some parents are worried that they won’t be able to handle the added responsibilities. However, with little forethought and self-care, you can chart a course ahead.
We’ve highlighted a few recommended practices that might help you and your family withstand the storm together.
The Importance of Overall Wellness for Kids & Parents
According to the United States Census Bureau, 66 percent of all households in the country have at least one kid. Your family probably spent a chunk of each day apart before COVID-19 arrived. Parents went to work, the kids went to school, and the group got together at night.
All of that altered as a result of quarantines and social segregation. We’re now all together all of the time.
Everyone in the family is subjected to new pressures as a result of this new atmosphere of continual togetherness. This implies that mental health, connection, education, and safety must all be prioritized even more.
Make Mentally Safe Places
According to experts, the majority of children and adolescents are in excellent physical condition. Aside from standard immunizations and development checks, most children do not need frequent physical examinations. During the COVID-19 epidemic, however, a child’s mental health may be jeopardized.
Routines are shifting, and children may feel disoriented in the absence of their instructors and peers. Children may pick up on their parents’ worry and wonder what the future holds for them.
Experts warn that signs of problems differ depending on a child’s age. Young children may seem clinging or forget important lessons (like toilet training). Older children may seem sensitive or imbalanced.
You won’t be able to make the coronavirus go away any quicker, but you can protect your child’s mental health. Consider the following suggestions:
- Let’s discuss the virus. Your children have probably heard a lot about coronavirus. Inquire about what they know and how they feel. When you can, clear up any misunderstandings and answer queries as honestly as possible. Keep the conversation encouraging and focused on what you’re doing to keep the family secure.
- Make exercise a part of your daily routine. Stress and anxiety may be relieved by moving the body. School-aged children, according to the Nemours Foundation, are used to short bursts of moderate or strenuous exercise. Dance parties may be scheduled throughout the day, or you can get on your bikes and sprint around the block.
- Prioritize compassion. Tight confines and an unknown future may irritate even the most patient person. Allow your kid grace on days when he or she seems to be having a particularly difficult time. Now is not the time to hold someone to a standard of perfection.
Take Care of Yourself
Parents often prioritize their children. However, the coronavirus outbreak is very difficult for adults, and many of us are finding it difficult to cope.
When thinking about the epidemic, almost one-fifth of individuals told the Pew Research Center that they experienced at least one bodily response. The tension is felt most intensely by those who are experiencing financial difficulties.
Take care of yourself. You’ll feel more competent of leading your family, and you’ll probably feel better as well. Consider the following options:
- Pause for a moment. While knowledge is powerful, constant news may be exhausting. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests taking a vacation from pandemic coverage in newspapers, internet, and social media platforms. Only read the news while you are relaxed.
- Make your health a priority. Healthy food, exercise, and relaxation should all be part of your daily routine. Don’t stay up till the early hours of the morning reading about the epidemic, then drink cup after cup of coffee the following day to keep awake. Make good decisions.
- Allow yourself to relax your standards. Many parents now work as secondary school teachers. If you’re worried about unending schedules and homework, take a cue from the homeschooling community. Find the lessons in ordinary activities like cooking, going for a stroll in the woods, or writing.
- Make time for flexibility in your schedule. Your family will no longer have to rush to catch the bus or beat the rush hour. Use your additional nap time to catch up on work or go for a treadmill walk if your kids look unusually drowsy. If you work when your children are asleep, you may have more time to finish your self-care tasks. During this moment, flexibility is your best friend.
- We can all benefit from learning together. Make a promise to yourself to attempt a new skill or activity, like knitting or journaling. Demonstrate what you’re learning and share your struggles with your youngster. According to experts, these discussions may encourage your youngster to emulate your study habits.
Keeping Safe During Coronavirus
In May, the overall number of COVID-19 fatalities in the United States is likely to approach 100,000. Everyone faces dangers, and as a parent, you have a critical responsibility to play in keeping your kid and family safe.
Teach your youngster to do the following:
- They should wash their hands. Handwashing effectively entails soaking both hands, scrubbing all surfaces with lots of soap, rinsing with running water, and drying with a clean towel. It’s not enough to just rinse and shake. Keep an eye on your youngster as they wash and demonstrate good technique. While washing their hands, children are often told to count to 20 slowly or sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice.
- Take care of the mess. According to experts, the virus may survive on inanimate items for many hours, if not a day. Teach your kid to clean high-touch areas such as doorknobs, toys, phones, and tablets using wipes. Put this on your to-do list instead if your youngster is too little to help with cleaning.
Although it may be tempting to invite friends and family over for a short lunch or a modest celebration, experts advise against it. Quarantines are effective, but only if they are enforced by families. Even if they don’t seem to be unwell, keep all guests out.
However, quarantine does not imply that all socializing must cease. To connect with your child’s pals, organize Zoom or Facetime calls. A 30 to 60 minute talk break, according to experts, may be great for a busy youngster in the midst of an at-home school day.
Use a mask if you must leave the home with your kid. In places where they can’t remain six feet away from others, children over the age of two may wear simple fabric masks that cover their nose and mouth. A trip in the park, for example, may not need the use of a mask. A mask is necessary if the youngster must accompany you to the shop.
Families with Special Needs have access to a variety of resources.
A lot of what we’ve spoken about so far applies to families parenting children with ASD or another mental health condition. However, some families need adaptations, and advice that works for other families may not work for them.
This additional knowledge may be just what your family needs during the COVID-19 emergency.
Explain the Virus to the Best of Your Ability
Every child should be aware about COVID-19 and how it works. Parents, on the other hand, should adjust their messages to their children’s needs and skills. According to experts, whatever you discuss with your kid should:
- Appropriate. Don’t offer your youngster more information than he or she can manage. Older children may be able to process information that younger children cannot.
- Tangible. Some persons with autism spectrum condition are quite good at absorbing verbal knowledge. Others need photographs or other visual aids to help them understand the facts. Adapt your message to meet the requirements of your youngster.
- Plain. Use simple language and avoid euphemisms. Use the facts you know to speak as plainly as possible.
COVID-19 will be very difficult for some children with autism, according to campaigners. They’re used to having certainty and clarity in their lives. Because this illness is new and information is always changing, finding the information that individuals with ASD want to hear might be difficult.
As much as possible, go about your worries and be honest about what you know and don’t know. Remind your youngster that scientists all across the world are working nonstop to learn more and save lives. Return to this chat as frequently as it seems to be beneficial.
If at all possible, stick to schedules.
A loosely drafted timetable with built-in flexibility may work effectively for neurotypical children. Children with autism, on the other hand, thrive on routines that they can control. That choice should be respected.
Experts advise making a daily routine that includes time for:
- Getting up and going to sleep.
- Breakfast, lunch, and supper are all meals that I eat.
- Snack preparation and consumption.
- I’m in front of the television.
- jobs around the house
- Breaks for exercise are necessary.
- Sessions with a therapist
Make the timetable as large as possible and pleasant to the eye. Put it somewhere your kid can see it, and once each step is accomplished, mark it off with a sticker or another visual indication. If your youngster has trouble switching from one mode to another, set a timer for two minutes before the next stage begins.
Field excursions, graduation ceremonies, and celebrations for older children have all been canceled. You can’t replicate those dates after they’ve passed, but you may seek for ways to find delight in the future.
Experts advise consulting with your kid and selecting a date that is far in the future (such as July 4th, 2021). Then make preparations for the big occasion. What are your plans for dinner? What are your plans? Planning a distant event provides the whole family something to look forward to, as well as reminding your youngster that their present predicament will come to an end at some point.
Preserve Your Assistive Personnel
Your home visitor list is reduced to zero during COVID-19 quarantines. However, you are not obligated to work with your kid alone and without assistance.
Although some physicians’ clinics have closed their doors save for emergency situations, telemedicine allows you to get health care from the comfort of your own home. Telemedicine rules have evolved nearly as quickly as the virus, according to the Center for Connected Health Policy. Many health care practitioners are being compensated by insurance companies for these visits, just as they are for office visits. As a result, these instruments may be used more often.
To keep your youngster involved in treatment, schedule frequent telemedicine visits. Make use of such visits for medical issues as well.
Video calls are occasionally used for applied behavior analysis (ABA) treatment sessions. During this time, providers are also taking extra precautions to ensure that home visits are safe.
To keep healthy, your kid will need more than just medical professionals. Experts suggest that social isolation is an issue for people with autism, and that good social support is essential. Create digital relationships between your kid and the following people through text messaging and video calls:
- Members of the family.
- Teammates and friends.
- Coaches and teachers
Allow them to interact and talk, or urge them to participate in a shared activity, such as chess or assignment completion.
Rewarding Stress-Relieving Techniques
Anyone may be concerned about the coronavirus and its implications for the future. Now is an excellent time to teach your kid important self-soothing techniques. Your youngster might learn skills that will last a lifetime if you act as a supportive coach.
When your youngster seems concerned or frightened, try the following:
- Physical exercise is important. Suggestions include a game of tag or a painting made with sidewalk chalk. Physical exercise may help a youngster get out of their heads and into their bodies, and doing tasks outdoors can also help them feel better.
- Work as a detective. Hit the mental rewind button after a breakdown. Look for a time when things went wrong and discuss it with your child’s therapist. Include your youngster in the discourse if at all possible. Simply inquire as to what occurred, and your youngster may respond. Discuss how you’ll handle it the next time.
- Mindfulness. Instruct your youngster to concentrate on the movement of his or her breath in and out. Then ask your youngster to take a deeper breath. Mindfulness is a discipline that extends far beyond. However, this basic strategy may occasionally assist a youngster in working through a troubling situation.
After COVID-19, Looking Forward
Children want a sense of security about their future, which may be difficult to provide when negative news appears to pile up every day. Parents, on the other hand, may demonstrate to their children that there is plenty to look forward to on the other side of the epidemic, as well as much to admire in daily life.
The importance of hope and rehabilitation may be emphasized by parents. Telling children tales about what you and your family have conquered in the past may demonstrate to them what is possible when you work together and endure.
Also, keep in mind that you are not alone. Whether you’re parenting a neurotypical or autistic kid, there are services available to assist you. You can effectively steer your family through this highly odd moment towards a healthier and happier future with the help of your community.
As states reopen, models predict a sharp increase in deaths (May 2020). The New York Times is a newspaper based in New York City.
‘I’m sorry, but I’m not up to it.’ Some overworked parents are opting out of the pandemic homeschooling phenomenon. (In April of 2020). TIME.
Quarantine has been issued. Section 361 of the Public Health Service Act, as well as Parts 70 (Interstate) and 71 of the 42 Code of Federal Regulations (Foreign). The CDC stands for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
This Map Shows All States Currently Under a State of Emergency Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, as Well as “COVID-19 Camps,” which is partially false. (In March of 2020). Reuters.
Families and Living Arrangements in America, 2012 (August 2013). Census Bureau of the United States of America
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and Children’s and Adolescents’ Mental Health (In April of 2020). Pediatrics is a journal published by the American Medical Association.
Maintaining Children’s Mental Health During Coronavirus (March 2020). National Geographic is a magazine published by National Geographic.
Discussing the Coronavirus with Children. The Child Mind Institute is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the
Your 6- to 12-Year-Old and Fitness (As of June 2019). The Nemours Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of
People who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak are having more psychological problems than others. (In March of 2020). The Pew Research Center is a non-profit organization that does research.
Coping with Stress (April 2020). The CDC stands for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In the Age of Coronavirus, Self-Care is Essential. The Child Mind Institute is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the
Distance Education Doesn’t Work. (In April of 2020). The Atlantic Ocean.
Teaching Children at Home During Coronavirus: Homeschoolers’ Expert Advice (In March of 2020). This week is National Education Week.
The Parental Role. (2012, August). The Public Broadcasting Service is a public broadcasting service.
When Will There Be 100,000 Deaths in the United States? After a Dreadful April, a Dreadful Milestone Could Arrive in May. (In May of 2020). Today in the United States of America.
What Parents Should Know About Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19). UNICEF.
COVID-19 Q&A: Safety for Kids. University of Maryland Children’s Hospital.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): Children’s Social Distancing (April 2020). The Nemours Foundation is a non-profit organization based in New York City.
When your children are stuck at home, there are a few things you can do to keep them learning. (In March of 2020). Common Sense Media is a media company that promotes common sense.
Children’s Cloth Face Coverings for COVID-19 (March 2020). The American Academy of Pediatrics is a group of doctors that specialize in children’s health
How to Talk to People With Autism About COVID-19 (In March of 2020). National Public Radio is a public broadcasting organization.
How Does the Coronavirus Pandemic Affect Autistic People? COVID-19: How Does the Coronavirus Pandemic Affect Autistic People? (24 April) Patient.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): Aiding Autistic Children in Coping (April 2020). The Nemours Foundation is a non-profit organization based in New York City.
During COVID-19, there will be strategies to support teens and young adults with autism spectrum disorder (April 2020). Harvard Medical School is a prestigious medical school in Boston.
COVID-19 Policies of Coverage (In April of 2020). The Center for Connected Health Policy is a non-profit organization that promotes the use of technology to
Make Friendships (From a Distance). Resources and Modules for Autism-Specific Intervention.
Calming Techniques for Anxious Children The Child Mind Institute is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the
Anxiety’s Role in Disruptive Behavior The Child Mind Institute is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the
The Importance of Mindfulness The Child Mind Institute is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the
Direct and Long-Term Improvements in a Mindfulness-Based Program for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Their Parents. (2018). Mindfulnes
The “5 parenting skills” is a guide that has been created to help parents and family members during COVID-19. The 5 skills are: 1) Create routines, 2) Monitor behavior, 3) Engage in activities, 4) Set limits & 5) Provide structure.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the 4 types of parenting styles?
A: There are four different styles of parenting, these include authoritative parenting, authoritarian parenting, permissive parenting and uninvolved or neglectful parenting.
What are the 5 positive parenting skills?
A: The 5 positive parenting skills are as follows.
1) Praise your child for good behavior and effort
2) Set clear limits so you can help maintain a safe environment
3) Model the behaviors that you want to see in your child, including being responsible with money, time management, self-care habits, etc.
4) Create opportunities for growth through playtime or by taking part in activities they enjoy like music lessons
What are the 3 Fs of positive parenting?
A: The 3 Fs of positive parenting are Friends, Family and Feelings. These three things are important to the overall success of a childs development into adulthood.
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Janice is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Special Education. She also holds a Master of Science in Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) from Queen’s University, Belfast. She has worked with and case managed children and youth with autism and other intellectual and/or developmental disabilities in home and residential setting since 2013.