How should parents of children with special needs talk to their kids about the COVID-19 pandemic and staying safe? We have some tips for you in this week’s health report.
Raquel Regalado is the mother of two autistic children including 16-year old Bella. She says when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, it was hard.
“There was a lot of anxiety, you know, and a lot of questions.” Regalado said.
Raquel went back to basics 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 at Easterseals South Florida.
Parents of children with disabilities need to be honest when it comes to COVID-19.
“There is a germ, there is a virus out there. It’s dangerous to our health and we have to protect ourselves.” Rocha said.
Giving kids with special needs a visual can help explain concepts like social distancing.
“Maybe draw a square that is six feet big and tell them this is your space, your personal space.” Rocha said.
Rocha says it’s important to try to stick to a daily schedule.
“Try to make a routine that is not only easy for them to understand and follow, but also to protect.” Rocha said.
Raquel and her kids go for a long walk every day to get exercise. She and Bella started a butterfly garden in their backyard.
“The key thing is to stay consistent.” Regalado said.
And most importantly, have fun together!