5 Tips to Deal with Stress from COVID-19

Uncertain times often bring stress.

We understand that news of a global pandemic can bring complicated feelings to both parents and children.  Fear about getting Coronavirus and social isolation may cause hopelessness, fear, panic, and other difficult emotions.  Children with autism can be very sensitive to the news, reactions from adults, and everchanging cancellations from school and community events.

At myHana, we are also caregivers of children with autism.  We are feeling the same feelings of uncertainty and it is our goal to keep providing tips, posts, and an at-home curriculum for children with autism.

  1. Ask your child what he has already heard about the virus.  Children, even those who are less-verbal or non-verbal hear and understand their surroundings.  Rumors may have spread at school or kids may have heard news reports.
  2. Look for signs of stress such as sleeping less, not eating, changes in routine, increased behavioral issues, and increases in self-stimulatory behavior.
  3. Ask your child about his feelings and provide visual cues to help children show you what they are feeling.  For example, take pictures of your child’s face when she is pretending to be happy, sad, afraid, and other emotions.  Print and laminate the photos so kids can identify emotions.  Practice this activity daily and talk about how to deal with negative emotions.
  4. Add calming activities such as blanket forts, calm-down areas in tents or closets, deep breathing, and a routine of a warm bath before bedtime.
  5. Get some fresh air.  Outdoor activities and physical play can increases oxygen to the brain!  Kids often feel calmer after playing outside for at least an hour.

Let us know if our tips help your child.  Try them on yourself too!  Your children are aware of your stress levels.  Doing activities together can build positive experiences.

 

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