One of the most negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic are children in the autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or those who have developmental disabilities and their families.
In fact, per a study on the NEJM Catalyst: Innovations in Care Delivery, individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 have three times higher mortality risk than those who don’t. This risk is due to their inability to effectively communicate their symptoms as well as their difficulties in understanding and/or following precautions.
Fortunately, you can help your child cope with the challenges of the pandemic through simple but effective ways. One of these ways is using social stories.
So, how are social stories helpful in making them understand the pandemic?
As a learning institution specializing in ABA strategies, let us at EDS Learning Institute provide a brief introduction to the use of social stories to help your child better cope with this unique situation.
Firstly, social situations are overwhelming for most children with ASD. Direct instructions such as ‘no touching’ or ‘quiet voices’ are not enough information for them to not touch their face while wearing their mask or keep quiet in the classroom.
Social stories can be used to effectively support their understanding of potentially upsetting or complex information. Using written, visual cues, and your parent and healthcare training to build a narrative, you can help them understand what is going on around them and what is expected of them in certain situations.
In particular, through social stories, they can better grasp the effects of this health crisis has on them, their family, and the community as well as understand the reasoning behind the precautionary measures in place. Similar to ABA training, however, the key here is to deliver your message in a way that is simple and understandable.