With schools being closed for the remainder of the school year, parents and children alike are adjusting to change and a new daily routine. This can be particularly difficult for students with autism, as having a set schedule and routine is so important for them. Our team connected with a local non-profit organization, Easterseals Chicago, to get more information on virtual resources and tips for parents amidst COVID-19 and e-Learning.
We connected with non-profit organization, Easterseals Chicago, to get more information on virtual resources and tips for parents amidst COVID-19 and e-learning!
The first tip for parents is to develop a schedule with your students. If your students are unable to read, develop a visual schedule with color-coded sticky notes or pictures! Next, be sure to take a lot of breaks throughout the day. We are all still adapting to a new virtual world and need some time spent playing outside or making ourselves a healthy snack. And most importantly parents, be kind to yourself! Cut yourself some slack if you can’t follow the schedule some days. It can be difficult to balance working full-time from home and completing e-learning requirements with your students… You are not alone! Look into participating in one of AMITA’s free virtual parent support groups, or visit the Illinois Autism Partnerships’ YouTube channel for some free videos to watch with your students!
Shannon Swanson, Easterseals Autism Specialist, wants the Illinois community to know, “There are resources out there for parents and families during this difficult time. We can get you connected. Please contact us at IAP@eastersealschicago.org.”
See a bulleted list of resources below, provided by Swanson.
Easterseals online resources:
Other resources available to the community:
Tips for Parents Teaching Students With Autism at Home - short Youtube video on how to set a schedule with your student
Special Needs Community of the West Suburbs of Chicago – Facebook page that provides a lot of family/caregiver support
STAR Autism Support – Autism Curriculum that has put out a lot of resources for students, teachers, and families during this time; as well as a newsletter
AMITA Health – resources and virtual parent and family groups
Virtual parent support groups on Thursdays from 5pm-5:45pm, view flyer in English or in Spanish
The Illinois Autism Partnership offers hands-on focused in-services, workshops, and coaching/consulting services geared towards supporting teachers, administrators, and support staff on the implementation of Evidence-Based Practices for students with autism and related disorders. For more information on services and resources, contact IAP@eastersealschicago.org. Additionally, for residents in the Western suburbs, check out Easterseals DuPage & Fox Valley, which provides more clinical and diagnostic services to students and their families.