Teaching children with intellectual disabilities at home during COVID-19

Coronavirus

Parents are becoming teachers since schools are now closed for the year.

In a time of uncertainty, children with intellectual disabilities can find this even more difficult because it’s not the everyday routine they have become used to, leading parents to get creative when it comes to teaching them.

“I write out what we’re going to do that day and that seems to help them a lot. I think there is so much uncertainty right now, so knowing what to expect is important for everybody,” said Hope Martinson, mother.

Martinson explained that one way she is teaching her two children who have autism about what’s happening in the current COVID-19 world is through a social story.

One expert even noted the importance of telling them what is happening.

“You need to talk in his language about what’s going on. Like there are germs out there, those germs are called a virus and right now, because we don’t have any cure for the virus, we have to practice social distancing, which means not getting real close to people. We can’t go to school, we can’t play with our friends,” said Dr. Maureen Barber-Carey, Executive Vice President, Barber National Institute.

Autistic adults are also being stripped away from their everyday routine. Although they may not be as confused, emotions can still run high.

“I am scared, because I think that they just mostly talk about the death rate and not so much of people that survive,” said voice of adult with autism.

But, there is something anyone with intellectual challenges can do to help cope with what’s happening.

“Physical exercise, whether you’re six or 16 or 56, it is really important for children and adults with intellectual deficits as well as autism,” said Dr. Barber-Carey.

One parent noted that when working with your child, it is important to remember that they typically pick up on how you’re feeling, so try your hardest to remain optimistic with them.

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