Strategies to support teens and young adults with autism spectrum disorder during COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has been described as “the war of our generation.” Millions of families are bravely waging war on COVID-19 by rising to the many challenges of social distancing, including upended school and work routines, financial insecurity, and inability to see loved ones, all compounded by the uncertainty of how long this will last. These challenges are likely magnified for those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Features of ASD, including impaired social and communication skills, repetitive behaviors, and insistence on sameness, can make it very difficult to understand social distancing, express distress, and adapt to new routines. What has the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic been on teenagers with ASD and their families? Social distancing has created many new challenges for families caring for teenagers with ASD in the home. Many teenagers with ASD receive support services including special education, behavioral therapy, occupational therapy, speech services, and individual aides through school. Delivering these services virtually is a major challenge, particularly since many teenagers with ASD already have social and communication difficulties, limiting the utility of video chat. Parents are therefore finding themselves simultaneously expected to play the role of parent, special education teacher, and individual aide, all the while providing care for other children and juggling work-from-home responsibilities. Aggressive and self-injurious behavior...
Source: Harvard Health Blog - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Adolescent health Mental Health Neurological conditions Parenting Source Type: blogs

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