COVID-19

Resources for individuals with ASD and their Family Members during the COVID-19 Closure. These resources include Information Packets, Videos, and Visual Tools.

Information Packets

Supporting Individuals with Autism through Uncertain Times

All children and young adults require support from caregivers during times of stress and uncertainty, such as those we are facing now with the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Coping with the unknown and navigating school closures, abrupt changes in routines, loss of connections with teachers and friends, and fear around contracting the virus- are burdens for all, and caregivers play an important role in helping children and young adults understand the changes and process their related feelings. Individuals with autism may need additional support to process the news and adapt to the many changes. This population may face additional challenges related to comprehension, communication, difficulty understanding abstract language, an insistence on sameness, and a greater likelihood of anxiety and depression - all of which may be exacerbated during this stressful period.

Hume, K., Waters, V., Sam, A., Steinbrenner, J., Perkins, Y., Dees, B., Tomaszewski, B., Rentschler, L., Szendrey, S., McIntyre, N., White, M., Nowell, S., & Odom, S. (2020). Supporting individuals with autism through uncertain times. Chapel Hill, NC: School of Education and Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retreived

Videos

What Should I Do If Get Sick

This What Should I Do If Get Sick VCU-ACE COVID-19 resource is designed for individuals with ASD. This video explains the symptoms of COVID-19, helps individuals with ASD understand what to expect if they do get sick, and also discusses what they can do at home while getting better.

How To: Dealing with Changes

Individuals with ASD often thrive in a routine environment and can struggle with unexpected changes to their schedules. This How To video helps families, educators, and community members support individuals with ASD as they navigate through the multitude of changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic event. This How To video includes how to use the VCU-ACE COVID-19 Social Narrative and the VCU-ACE COVID-19 Comic Strip.

How To: Teaching Handwashing

This How To video is for families, educators, and community members who are teaching the steps of handwashing to individuals with ASD. This video includes strategies for those who need more support such as using a task analysis, prompting, using visual supports, and using reinforcement.

How To: Handwashing for Individuals with ASD

This How To video is for individuals with ASD to watch and learn the steps of proper handwashing. This video also includes a clip that can be used for video modeling, a powerful strategy in teaching some individuals with ASD new skills.


Visual Tools

COVID-19 Social Narrative

Social narratives are an important visual tool that help individuals with ASD understand complex information. This basic visual support can be used to help individuals with ASD understand what is happening surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a very concrete and very brief overview of what is happening.

COVID-19 Comic Strip

Comic strips are an important visual too that help individuals with ASD understand complex information. This more advanced visual support can be used to help individuals with ASD understand more detailed information surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and has tips for staying in touch with friends and family members during a time of social isolation.

Stay Healthy Infographic