Living with Autism during COVID-19

COVID19 has not only spread around very rapidly, but it has also meant that life, as we know it, has completely changed as well. 

From closing much of the non-essential shops to working from home, or even homeschooling, it can be said that the pandemic that is now affecting the world has made us rethink our previous lives.

But, how is this COVID19 affecting the lives of people on the Spectrum? How are they coping with the sudden change of structure? Are they aware of what’s going on? If so, how do they feel about it?.

Routine changes may be difficult to embrace

Routines are something sacred for many individuals on the Spectrum. They know what they need to do throughout their days because they rely on those routines as a way of attaching onto something real. 

As a result, they become more aware of what’s going on (both on the inside and the outside) and can participate in their daily activities. 

But, what happens when – all of a sudden – everything they knew falls apart? They are no longer going to school, they are no longer able to go to the park, and they are no longer understanding that their routines, the ones they truly loved and embraced, will be different for an unknown time.

It will be up to the parents and the rest of the family members to create a new routine that will work for those who are on the Spectrum and who need to feel safe and understood no matter what’s going on in the outside world.

Being together can be too much

Many individuals on the Spectrum are fully aware of the importance of being connected to someone or something, even if they can’t put it into words. However, they may find it strange to now spend so much time with their immediate family members. 

‘’What happened to my school?’’, ‘’Where are my friends?’’ ‘’Why are we all here all the time?’’, are some of the questions that people on the Spectrum may be asking.

Therefore, this whole COVID19 scenario has allowed families to reconnect, something that was perhaps lost thanks to the previous family dynamics.

New rules may surprise some

Nobody knows for sure when this whole issue will subside. Therefore, we must embrace new family dynamics and rules that will help us cope from now on.

Individuals who are on the Spectrum may find it challenging when their parents start setting new rules. Perhaps before the pandemic, they were able to do things that now they can’t, and this may be frustrating for some. 

Again, it is up to the carers to create a welcoming and relaxing environment for individuals who are on the Spectrum to feel comfortable where they are, regardless of the time they must spend there.

They may not understand what’s going on 

Nonetheless, it is necessary to communicate with those who are on the Spectrum what is going on. It doesn’t have to be a full-on explanation. However, it does have to address some of the questions they may have.

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