We entered spring break this week knowing that there is the possibility of a school closure looming over us. I can feel the Jaws theme music playing in the background. My stress level rising as I contemplate what may be to come.
Most children on the spectrum use consistency, control and schedules to make up their daily lives. There are even some typical children that appreciate and thrive when their days are mostly planned.
So, what do we do now that Covid-19 has threatened to sink our tight ship?
Since schools have closed, let’s be as prepared as we can be to provide a shift in the structure without its collapse.
Sharing a social story to depict real life events can be helpful.
Social stories often provide the explanation that your child is seeking in a way that they can understand.
Making a visual schedule can make your days easier. Filling them with first, then contingencies and predictability.
Asking your teacher if they would be willing to FaceTime with your child at any point during the closure. Teachers provide guidance, security and love to our children everyday. They quickly become one of the most loved adults in their student’s lives. Continuing to see their face can act as a link between settings.
While you have the teacher on the line, ask what lessons your student has been working on. Continuing to review those concepts can help bring some familiarity and keep your child on top of their classroom work.
Importantly, give yourself some grace. Lots of grace. All the grace as you navigate this new passage. This will be new to you and your child. Take the time you need to ease into your rhythm. Give your child the space he needs to adapt to a new way of living and provide comfort measures when possible.
Last, self-care for any parent is imperative. Times like this can make it hard for that to seem like an option. Make the time. Ten minutes to read. Watching a movie that everyone loves. Chocolate. Wine. Whatever you need to find your peace and balance, make it happen unapologetically. You will be better because of it.
Stay safe mamas!
Photography: Jessica Rockowitz Photography + Film