The Coronavirus pandemic has brought massive changes to the daily lives and routines of autistic people and their families. We know how challenging this is for everyone. The following information tells you how you can continue to access our support and provides some tips and links to resources that may be helpful.
Autism West Midlands Community Support Services
Our services are continuing with some changes in line with government guidance.
Advice and information
If you would like advice and information please contact our helpline firstname.lastname@example.org who will either answer your query or pass you on to a member of community services team for support by phone, email or video call.
For parents of children we have set up on-line support groups for families in our contracted areas: Birmingham, Sandwell, Shropshire and Solihull (Solar Families). Contact us at email@example.com for details. Our established support groups for adults are continuing via Zoom and Facebook closed groups.
Webinars on a range of topics are run weekly for parents, carers and professionals. Visit our events pages for details of forthcoming webinars and book via our online shop. Webinars are free to join and are available to anyone across the West Midlands. https://www.autismwestmidlands.org.uk/events/
Tips for daily life during the Coronavirus pandemic
- Many of us are understandably worried by what we see, read or hear in the news and this includes children. Try to only check the news at set times, once or twice a day, to prevent you or your child becoming overwhelmed.
- It is difficult to hide what is going on from children, especially since their usual routine has changed so much. Talk to your child calmly and honestly about what is happening. There are visual resources and social stories that can help you with this (links at the bottom of the page).
- Plan a new schedule for yourself and your family. For children the structure of the school day will need to be replaced by a structure you create. Use visual timescales and incorporate rest and exercise breaks. For adults who are socially isolating it is also important to create a new schedule.
- Find someone to talk to and share your concerns. This may be others in social media groups or organisations, like Autism West Midlands, who are offering support remotely during this time.
- Many organisations are offering on-line activities and courses for children and adults. These include exercise classes, mindfulness courses and pub quizzes. Seek out these opportunities and build them into your day.
Returning to school after lockdown
After such a long period away from school, this is going to be a difficult transition for all. Read our Returning to school guidance here.
Autism and wearing face coverings
This information sheet looks at ways to support autistic people to wear face masks and what you can do if you or the person you support is unable to wear a mask.
All the current Government guidance on Coronavirus can be found here https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Easy Read Online have created an easy read information sheet about Coronavirus https://www.easy-read-online.co.uk/media/53192/advice-on-the-coronavirus-v1.pdf
Carol Gray has written a social story about Pandemics and the Coronavirus https://carolgraysocialstories.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Pandemics-and-the-Coronavirus.pdf
Mindheart have created a workbook which is available in different languages https://www.mindheart.co/descargables?fbclid=IwAR0KlrEOy4hv3rD6e875upiy1F3GwYtn7NXMXS3BerMZDT-xbJpL8rAnMi8
Elsa Support have lots of free resources on their website including
- “Someone I know has Coronavirus” (social story)
- Coronavirus 14-day isolation activities
- Social stories about home schooling, social distancing and handwashing
Mencap have a Makaton video about handwashing