Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their caregivers have been finding it difficult to continue to make progress during the COVID pandemic. The difficulty is primarily due to the disruption of schedules, lack of access to support services, changes at work, as well as delays, rescheduling, or closing of schools. However, there are still effective and accessible ways to keep on top of treatment so that individuals with ASD don’t regress and instead, continue to grow. Ascend Autism offers a wide range of programs and services to help families and caregivers maintain positive progress and learning during COVID.
Continued Progress During COVID-19
Children with ASD respond best to routine. Uncertainty and restrictions can hold them back. Unfortunately, those qualities are exactly what the coronavirus pandemic has created in many households. The key for parents and caregivers is to find innovative ways to keep individuals on track in their development. Maintaining the appropriate progress requires adjustments to a routine during COVID-19. However, it’s best to think of these adjustments as the new normal, the new routine. It may be difficult at first, but with the right support that Ascend Autism can provide, individuals and families can continue making positive progress.
While many families could get regular in-home, in-person care or support through the public education system, COVID-19 has complicated things. In-person care may not be an option for some families, yet they still need support to maintain their ABA regime. To assist, the counselors and therapists at Ascend Autism can provide ABA services to families through our telehealth services.
Using internet video conferencing or streaming services through a client’s smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer, we provide ABA support at a distance. All clients need is a reliable internet connection (we recommend a strong wi-fi connection), a dedicated space where sessions can be conducted without distraction, and access to materials for notetaking and other items for treatment (which can be pre-determined and organized ahead of a session).
In this way, children with ASD can get the applied behavioral analysis treatment they need to continue making sustained and healthy progress even in the midst of the pandemic.
Other Ways to Learn During COVID-19
Disruptions can be a major hurdle for both children with ASD and their parents. Without school support or clear, structured time, continuing progress during COVID is a challenge. However, there are some ways parents, family members, and caregivers can work to minimize disruption and keep learning during COVID on track.
For example, parents should do their utmost to:
- Keep a schedule. Old routines may be over, but new ones can be created to take their place. Make sure there is still a sense of beginning, middle, and end to a child’s day and schedule time appropriately.
- Structure is necessary, but so are breaks. Make time for play and relaxation. It will not only benefit children with ASD but give parents and caregivers the time necessary to recharge their batteries.
- Pick your battles. There will always be good days and bad days. While creating a routine can be difficult, make sure to be flexible. Everyone is enduring a difficult time emotionally and mentally, so patience is more important than ever before.
COVID-19 has presented everyone with unique and exceptional challenges in maintaining one’s health and well-being. Individuals with ASD, especially young children, have been greatly affected by the pandemic. Many parents and caregivers have worried about how best to keep continuing progress during COVID. Here at Ascend Autism, we apply the consistent, progressive, and motive-based Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) principles, both in-person and remotely. Our telehealth services can give individuals with ASD the support they need to continue to make progress. Telehealth also allows family members and caregivers to learn more about the therapy and receive the practical and emotional support they need to be at their best.
Ascend Autism has the programs and expertise to improve behaviors and outcomes for children of all ages from 2 to 20+ years old. We offer an array of services for treating autism spectrum disorder, such as: