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How to Support Autistic People in Uncertain Times

Updated: Apr 19, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic is filled with uncertainty. No one is immune to the disruptions that the coronavirus pandemic is forcing upon daily life. However, for people on the autism spectrum, the loss of familiar routines and expectations can be especially damaging, often leading to deep, seemingly insurmountable anxiety. Fortunately, strategies and tools exist to guide and support autistic individuals to cope and thrive during these challenging times.

Dr. Stephen Shore, Adelphi University Clinical Assistant Professor, shares is own experience growing up with Autism.

“At an early age I lost functional communication, had meltdowns, and withdrew from my environment,” said Dr. Shore. “I believe that we have the technology, we have the ability, we have the knowhow so that autistic individuals leading fulfilling and productive lives can become the rule rather than the exception.”

The webinar workshop focused on the main areas of support for individuals with autism which include:

  1. maintaining routines

  2. providing clear communication

  3. ensuring self-care

Because of the current situation, taking a break and getting sufficient movement and exercise can make a big difference. “This is something you can do on your own and is it’s just a very simple stop to what you’re doing and as you exhale, slowly and deliberately think about exhaling stress and while you breathe in your inhaling calm from the environment.”

By asking what the autistic person can do and by focusing on strengths and abilities we can work to match interest and strengths to career opportunities or avocations or hobbies.

Dr. Shore also shared a number of educational resources for parents and caregivers from experts and tips for everyone on structuring their day during the current pandemic.

“This is a particularly uncertain time with the COVID-19 pandemic,” said SKHOV Founder and CEO Dr. Joshua Weinstein. “We have worked for many years with Dr. Shore and we value his expertise. We are proud to share these vital resources to help people with autism cope when their routines are disrupted.”

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