COVID-19 Toolkit: Supporting Individuals with Autism through Uncertain Times (Autism Focused Intervention Resources & Modules, AFIRM) (Available in English, Polish, Swedish, Chinese, Italian, Japanese, Arabic, Mandarin, Spanish & Czech), National Professional Development Center (NPDC) on ASD
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). 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.
The 7 support strategies are designed to meet the unique needs of individuals with autism during this period of uncertainty. In addition, examples and ready-made resources are included to help caregivers implement these strategies quickly and easily. These materials purposely represent a variety of styles/designs/complexity to model the range of what may be most meaningful across ages and skills, and to demonstrate what can be generated with few materials by busy caregivers. Specific adaptations and additions may be necessary to best meet the varied needs of individual children and young adults.