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Autism Research Institute Offers COVID-19 Support for Families

Note: Autism Research Institute, Dr. Bernie Rimland's organization, and the first to acknowledge autism as a medical condition worthy of treatment, is offering a series of webinars and other information during the COVID-19 shutdown. By all means, go to the site and look around, then share with your groups.

 Coping with the Covid-19 Pandemic Resources for Individuals and Families

We all need encouragement and support right now. For many, this quarantine is more of the same, but it's still a rough go since many of us are getting no breaks at all. I've been with my 3 daughters every day since March 12 without a break. We started "distance learning" with Bella's school today. That was two half hour ZOOM calls to attend with Bella, while Mia and Gianna clamored in the background. I looked like I was swatting invisible flies on the call, I'm sure with my arms flailing to try to move them out of camera range. Still, it was so wonderful to see Bella's teacher and speech therapist.

We don't have to be Supermen and women. We can't. Ask for help if you need it. Especially if you're a single parent, Mom or Dad. Tell friends that if they are going to the store, to please let you know. Early yesterday, a neighbor messaged me she was going to BJs Wholesale and did I need anything. I needed printer ink! I grabbed cash and walked it to her mailbox.

One of Mia's comforts is printing from YouTube Nursery Rhymes, Blues Clues, Sesame Street and other kids shows. I was going broke on ink. I now go into Word on my phone, snap a photo of the Kindle screen, and shrink it to about 1/4" in size, then I print it, cut it out and put the sheet back into the printer for the next screen shot. Mia then gets the tape, I put a square of tape onto the tiny picture, and she adds it to a sheet that is loaded with hundreds of quarter inch squares. She has about 8 sheets, both sides covered. Every so often, I slip one sheet out and hide it. If she doesn't notice, I throw it out.  That's Mia's comfort, and I let her have it. Gianna is tending to her calendar. I hear her wake up at about 4:30am every day, she goes downstairs to her whiteboard calendar and strikes off the day before.  The calendar gives her a sense of time, purpose and direction. Bella carries dollar store beads and rubs them and shakes them for her comfort. Me? I clean, cook, bake, write, try to engage readers on all of our social media and sometimes tick people off with my Tweets.

Enough about the little blue house in Connecticut, take a look at the ARI site - I think you'll find a lot of helpful info.  Stay well.  KIM


Disruptions to our personal and professional lives, schedule changes, and school closings present unique challenges individuals on the autism spectrum and their families. In these challenging times, we are sensitive to the needs of these individuals and their families. To help, we have compiled these resources aimed at reducing anxiety and restoring a sense of routine during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 Coping with the Covid-19 Pandemic Resources for Individuals and Families

Thursday, April 9

Emotional Support for Families during COVID-19

Lisa Latten, MsED,
Suzannah Joy Iadarola, Ph.D., &
Lisa Luxemberg, MSW
University of Rochester Medical Center
11 a.m. Eastern (U.S.)

Watch on the Website: Anxiety, Autism: Five Prime Suspects – with tips for coping at home during COVID-19

Christopher Lynch, Ph.D., is a child psychologist who specializes in stress and anxiety management for children and teens who are on the Autism Spectrum. He is currently the Director of the Pediatric Behavioral Medicine Department at Goryeb Children’s Hospital, where he developed the Aspirations life management program. In this webinar, Dr. Lynch explains the major underlying causes of anxiety, as seen in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and gives suggestions on how to tackle them. He also talks about how some of these evidence-based strategies can ease anxiety throughout COVID-19 disruptions.


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