Jonah Engler social distancing and stay-at-home are the two big realities of the COVID-19 lockdown! As the medical fraternity is striving hard to zero down on a possible cure to end the mass suffering, people need to stay-at-home to prevent community transmission as much as possible. And if you thought that adults and senior citizens are finding it challenging, you need to take note of the kids, especially the autistic children.
Children find it difficult to put up in one place for a long-time. Since they can’t go to school, meet their friends, go dancing or exercise classes, visit the park and the like, most children feel restless. However, when it comes to autistic kids, the situation brings in more challenges. Autistic children can exhibit passive-aggressive traits during these moments. They might get detached and act restless as well. Their parents need to become extra observant and patient with them during such testing times. Maintaining safety and cleanliness protocols isn’t enough. It is essential to create the perfect emotional habitat for them to survive through such a challenging time.
What does Jonah Engler suggest to parents of autistic children?
People like Jonah Engler,who takes a keen interest in children’s wellness, has some smart suggestions for parents lockdown of autistic children. It can help them give meaning to this lockdown phase and make it comfortable for their children to live well. The following pointers can help:
- Maintain the standard routine
Parents should stick to their kid’s home learning schedule and other extracurricular activities that they took part in their school. It’s best not to make any changes to the existing routine, as that might overwhelm them. It will help them to stay comfortable during this phase of uncertainty and subtle shifts.
- Take care so that your child feels less anxious.
Autistic children can fall prey to anxiety and panic even when things are normal! The lockdown can increase the magnitude. Sometimes, they absorb the ongoing stress around the world and their parents as well. Hence, it is essential as parents to balance their emotions and not get trigged easily.
Jonah Engler one of the best ways to reduce anxiety and stress is by not attempting to teach something new to them. Motivate and urge lockdown them to carry on with activities that they did before. Usually, ASD kids are prone to creative arts. So, if your kid loves painting abstract shapes or coloring a picture book, allow him or her to do that. It will help them to go with the flow and adjust to the current condition. Also, when they get cranky, let them know that this present situation is a phase and that it will go away soon.
- Make time for physical activity and exercise.
Physical exercise helps to fight stress and tension for an average person. When it comes to autistic children, it helps in enhanced mental wellbeing. Here you can include play activities, motor activities, freehand exercises, and many more. You and your kid can exercise together. It will act as a feel-good factor for them and you as well.
- Have a specific balcony time
When stepping outside the house seems impossible, you can always spend some time with your kid in your balcony. Sunshine and fresh air always refreshes the mind and helps to break the mundanity. Furthermore, it helps you to connect with your neighbors and their kids. It will help your child to feel connected and not feel isolated.
- Focus on calming skills
Today, most people are tensed and get panicked quickly! Your child might react sensitively to these dense emotions and develop depression, of which you might not be aware. Hence, it is necessary to maintain a calm environment at home. You can take relaxing baths together and also try and meditate together. Other than this, you can also practice deep breathing, sing-along, and simply be together. It helps to calm down the anxiety and inner stress.
- Avoid confrontations
Presently we are living in a sensitive time! Adults and children are vulnerable. And autistic children owing to their reflexes are more vulnerable now than others. It’s never a good idea to lose your clam and give into anger and argument in front of them. It’s a wise call to refrain from confrontations or harsh conversations in front of them. They might become restless and violent, which will be challenging for you to manage.
- Find exciting ways to study.
Since your child can’t move out of the house, it’s a wise decision to refrain from a strict, academic approach! Try and make learning fun for your kid. It would mean taking a storytelling approach while reading books and using fun methods for subjects like math and arts. It’s good to take a break from formal structure and use interesting and creative elements for academics.
- Stick to the necessary food and medicine routine
Life is slightly disorganized now! People are losing a sense of time today. So, you need to ensure that your kid gets their food at the correct time all through the day. Also, if he/she is on any medication, make sure to keep that on as well. Don’t encourage sleeping late or eating at odd hours, just because everyone is at home. It might hurt your kid’s mental and physical wellness, as well.
- Simple home activities count
At times you can get your child to take part in several home activities like folding bed sheets, arranging dinner table, watering the potted plants, and the like. It will make them counted as active family members and help them to concentrate on various activities that will keep them busy and motivated.
- Listen to your kids
Often parents don’t listen to their kids. When you listen to your kids, you can understand their world within, and that will give you a clue about whether they are restless or at peace. Take time to have a parent and kid sharing time.
Children with ASD often have attention deficit issues. When you follow the tips mentioned above, you can take better care of them. Also, get in touch with your doctor as and when required.