With the COVID-19 quarantine in full-swing, we thought it would be a great idea to give some quick tips and reminders for families living with special needs to help protect your kiddos & to help keep your family healthy. If you or your child have any of the following symptoms please see your doctor or pediatrician as soon as possible:
Fever, bad cough, headache, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, achy muscles, loss of appetite, stomach upset
Prevention is always best so we’re focusing on ways to help keep the virus from spreading.
Here’s 6 simple tips to help keep everyone healthy and safer:
1. Wash Hands Often with Soap & Warm Water
Most kids love playing in water. If your child struggles with washing their hands, you can try adding their favorite toy and use a First/Then approach. For example, “First Sponge Bob washes his hands, then Susy!” Get them involved in washing their toy or doll so that they can get their hands clean in the process. Another quick tip if you’re pressed for time is to keep a few bottles of hand sanitizer on tap (in kitchen, car glovebox, etc.). A squeeze on the palms of their hands paired with their favorite song as they “wash” their hands usually does the trick.
2. Keep the Windows Open
Fresh air is awesome for keeping the germs at bay especially during the flu season, and perhaps even more important now with a Pandemic and quarantine situation. Crack the window in the car to let in a little fresh air when running errands or picking your kids up from school. Or keep a window cracked in the home to allow fresh air in and help keep germs at bay.
3. Healthy Foods a Must
Getting our kids to eat healthy choices is a chore in itself! There’s a lot of new options out there to sneak in a few extra veggies while allowing for flexibility in their eating behaviors. For example, some chicken nuggets now come with an added serving of veggies in them. If your kids like ice cream and smoothies, you can toss in some fresh fruit, opt for a vegetable delivery service, or see what recipes are available to boost your kiddo’s veggie intake.
4. Stay on Schedule
Schedules are important for daily life but even more important during a quarantine. Too much time on their hands and kids can get cranky, noncompliant or regress. Having a schedule helps give structure and predictability to your child’s daily routine, which can help them remain calmer during these challenging times. Check out some cool schedule ideas from their teacher or online. Kids love participating in creating their own schedules as this gives them a sense of ownership and responsibility. Have them join in when creating a homework, weekend, or night-time schedule!
5. Multivitamin or Supplements
Some parents like to add a daily multivitamin or liquid supplement to their child’s diet to help ensure they’re getting all the nutrients they need to keep them healthy and happy. Check with your child’s pediatrician or dietician to see what options are available to meet your child’s specific needs.
6. Wearing a Mask & Gloves
Many kiddos will not want to wear a mask to help protect themselves when in public as it may cause sensory issues, meltdowns or tantrums. Some helpful tips in getting children to wear their protective gear include:
Make a game of it! Making silly faces, or “monster” sounds when wearing your mask may help entice them in wearing their mask.
Let them decorate their gloves and mask! This helps give children a sense of ownership with their protective gear, and makes it fun for them. Having their name in markers, glitter, or other safe art can be added to their mask, or decorative “animals” can be made out of their gloves to help them wear them more consistently in public.
Use a timer to help them increase their wear-time. If children struggle with wearing their protective gear, using a timer with a gradual increase in wear-time (and tons of positive reinforcement for every victory!) is important in getting children to increase how long they can tolerate wearing a mask or gloves. Speak to your clinical team for other ideas and goals.
Your friends at,
The Autism Analyst