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This Coronavirus Toolkit Will Help Your Child with Special Needs

This Coronavirus Toolkit Will Help Your Child with Special Needs

The kit provides families with tips on how to maintain routine and mental health, and finding support when supports and services are suspended.

The Autism Society of America released a toolkit for families with children on the autism spectrum to help cope with anxiety and routine disruption and find supports during this time on March 20. The toolkit resources are grouped by topic and include information on public policy changes, as well as tips for maintaining mental health, modifying routines, finding lifestyle supports, and educating kids and adults. All resources have been compiled by experts in the autism community, and the Society has also created a Facebook Live Coronavirus Information Series to continually keep families updated on emergency funding, respite care, and more. 

You can watch this week's Facebook Live with Kim Musheno, VP of Public Policy, who discusses the recently passed Families First Act; the Society will also provide weekly video updates on its response and support efforts as time goes on and the situation changes. On Thursday, March 26, Dr. Cathy Pratt, the director of Indiana Center for Autism, will discuss supporting individuals with autism who also have co-occurring mental health challenges. You can also call the Autism Society's national helpline at any time to speak to an information and referral specialist to connect with further resources for your child.

The Autism Society was founded in 1965 and provides "advocacy, education, information and referral, support, and community at national, state and local levels through our strong nationwide network of Affiliates." The organization hosts an annual national conference on autism, and is one of the few organizations whose board of directors (and leadership positions) are filled with individuals who have autism spectrum disorder, so voices are included in the planning of programming and leadership. For more information on the Autism Society, head to the organization's website.

RELATED: Help decrease your child's coronavirus anxiety with these tips

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Jacqueline Neber

Author: Jacqueline Neber is a social journalism MA candidate at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY. When she’s not reporting, you can find her petting someone else’s dog. See More