With schools closed for the time being, many families are struggling with how to approach education: Should they treat these weeks as spring break? Try to replicate their child’s school schedules at home? Create some sort of homeschooling schedule? On top of this new challenge, many parents are also trying to work from home or care for others at the same time. Understandably, some families are feeling overwhelmed and anxious about this right now.
In the coming days, we’ll be sharing some educational ideas and resources to support families at home. But today, I hope parents can put aside any guilt or pressure they feel about how they are (or aren’t) handling education right now. Instead, consider this idea when feeling anxious about school:
The things kids need most right now are the same things their parents already know how to give them.
- Comfort – Routines have changed, and while they’ll normalize again, this is a real time of transition. Continuing to offer hugs, smiles, and a few minutes playing or reading together can make a big difference for both of you.
- Sleep – We all cope best with changes and challenges when we’re sleeping well. Just like before, helping kids get enough sleep each night sets them up for calmer, happier daytimes, and more resilience overall.
- Movement – Children (and adults!) often feel best with lots of exercise. If they can get outside while keeping a distance from others, kids can walk in the neighborhood or park, ride a scooter or bike, make up scavenger hunts in the area, or play hopscotch or jump rope on the sidewalk. Inside, activities like yoga, dancing to music, and playing active games like Simon Says, red light/green light, or Twister can let out some extra energy. For those with internet access, there are a lot of fun options online :
- YMCA (https://ymca360.org/) is offering a selection of free exercise classes online
- Go Noodle (https://family.gonoodle.com/) has different types of child-oriented videos, including some to get energized and others to calm down
- Libraries– With a valid library card, both Seattle Public Library (www.spl.org) and King County Library (www.kcls.org) offer access to video resources that include exercise-related videos like dancing, yoga, and cardio sessions
The bottom line is that this is a tough (and temporary) time. But like always, parents have already got the know-how to give kids the foundation that’s most important to get through this time. Do what you can, but let go of the guilt to do more.
The coronavirus and the spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on everyone in our community. People in the autism community have been particularly impacted with schools being closed, limited access to necessary therapies, being out of routine and a lot of uncertainty about the near and distant future. Read full post »
This month’s Autism 200 series class is Autism 203: Mood and Anxiety in Autism
Children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder are at greater risk of anxiety and mood issues over the course of their life. This talk will explore current evidence-based treatments for anxiety and mood, including cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). Presenters will also discuss important ways these therapies may be adapted for this population.
Class Schedule: This class will be held Thursday, March 19, 2019 from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.
Watch Online Only: You can live-stream classes using Facebook Live on Seattle Children’s Facebook page or use the teleconferencing application, WebEx. You can watch the live webcast from your own location in real time using Webex. Read how to use Webex (PDF). The meeting number and password are: Meeting number: 808 729 558, Meeting password: autism.
Please note that due to the reasonable caution surrounding reducing the spread of COVID-19, this month’s Autism 200 class will be only available online. Thanks to everyone for their understanding and further announcements regarding future Autism 200 lectures will be forthcoming.
For more information see the Autism 200 Series webpage.