Health Report: Helping someone with autism during the COVID-19 pandemic

Health Reports

One in 54 children in the U.S. is diagnosed with autism according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

How should parents of children with special needs talk to their kids about the coronavirus and staying safe?

It’s Your Health tonight.

Raquel Regalado is the mother of two autistic children including 16-year-old Bella. Regalado said that when the pandemic first hit, it was hard.

“There was a lot of anxiety and a lot of questions,” said Raquel Regalado, Mother of Two Autistic Children.

Regalado went back to the basics while creating a new routine for her kids.

“I think the most important thing is that they tell the truth in a way that they’re going to understand,” said Camila Rocha, Education Services Director for Easterseals South Florida.

Parents of children with disabilities need to be honest when it comes to to the coronavirus.

“There is a germ. There is a virus out there that it’s dangerous to our health and we have to protect ourselves,” said Rocha.

Children with special needs sometimes need a visual to help explain concepts such as social distancing.

“Maybe draw a square that is six feet and then tell them this is your space, your personal space,” said Rocha.

Rocha said that it is important to try and stick to a daily schedule.

“Try to make a routine that is not only easy for them to understand and follow, but also to predict,” said Rocha.

Regalado and her kids go for a long walk every day to get exercise. Regalado and Bello started a butterfly garden in their backyard.

“The key thing is to stay consistent,” said Regalado.

Most importantly have fun together.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Events Calendar