COVID-19

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

Alicia Hart, VCU-ACE Training Associate and parent of a child with ASD, sends a personal message to families across the Commonwealth.


COVID-19 Videos

Whats New for School This Year?

This VCU-ACE video resource will help individuals with ASD understand the potential changes they might experience this school year due to COVID-19.

Return to School After COVID-19

Return to School: What Role will Trauma Play in School and How Will You Respond, presented by Staci Carr and Carol Schall. This video is a presentation from the 2020 CoLA Summer Institute

What is a Virus?

This VCU-ACE COVID-19 resource was designed to help explain the meaning of a virus to individuals with ASD.

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.

COVID 19 - Wearing a Mask

This VCU-ACE COVID-19 video resource helps individuals with ASD understand how to wear different types of masks and includes clips for video modeling.

Social and Physical Distancing

This VCU-ACE COVID-19 video resource discusses the importance of social and physical distancing as well as what to do when you must leave for an essential job or grocery shopping./p>

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.

Self Determination at HomeVideos

Families: Self Determination at Home

This VCU-ACE video resources features Cyndi Pitonyak, a VCU-ACE Training and Technical Assistance Associate. In this video, Cyndi discusses self-determination at home and helps families integrate self-direction, relationships, and citizenship skills into daily routines.

Doing My Own Schoolwork

This VCU-ACE COVID-19 video resource is designed for individuals with ASD as they navigate learning from home. This video discusses ways individuals with ASD can be more independent and includes tips for successfully doing their own schoolwork.

Doing Chores

This VCU-ACE COVID-19 video resource is designed for individuals with ASD as they seek more independence during this difficult time. This video discusses ways to learn new chores like doing laundry and loading the dishwasher and also includes video examples.

Making My Own Breakfast and Lunch

This VCU-ACE COVID-19 video resource is designed for individuals with ASD who want to be more independent. This video discusses ways individuals with ASD can learn to make their own breakfast and lunch and includes video examples.

Keeping Busy

This VCU-ACE COVID-19 video resource is designed for individuals with ASD as they seek to be more independent at home. This video discusses ways to know when a parent is working and ideas for keeping busy during this challenging time.


PARENTS AND TEACHERS AS COLLABORATIVE PARTNERS

During the COVID-19 crisis, educators and family members of children with autism, intellectual and developmental disabilities have had to partner in new ways to help children learn. This has fostered the need for new conversations between teachers and parents. In order to assist with these conversations we have developed two fillable resources to help meet the educational needs of students with autism, intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Building Learning into Natural Home Routines and Activities Plan

This document is a home learning plan created as a follow-up to the 15 questions for teachers to help parents. This plan is designed to take advantage of that partnership. It asks parents to talk about home activities or routines where they could use help from the teacher. The teacher can then offer ideas and suggestions to help teach those home routines or activities.

15 Questions to Help Teachers Help Parents

This document contains sample questions to help teachers learn more about the family's home life and may result in the identification of new skills that the teacher can help the parent teach their child.


Visual Supports

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.


Infographics

Stay Healthy Infographic


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