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The Ones For Wellness: Autism Awareness

THE ONES FOR WELLNESS (CBSDFW.COM) — We know staying at home can be difficult for all kids, but for those on the Autism spectrum, it can be even more challenging.

"We know that daily routines help make the world predictable for children," said Dr. Kadie Dooley, a psychologist with Children's Health.

Because so many children with Autism spectrum disorders thrive on consistency, Dr. Dooley said keeping structure is key.

"Set a designated work area," she suggested. "Minimize distractions, set concrete expectations like to-do lists."

When it comes to helping your children understand COVID-19 and all that comes along with it, Dr. Dooley recommended using clear language that promotes understanding, but aims to minimize their anxiety.

Keep in mind, you may have to explain more than once.

"Children may need to have this information presented to them multiple times," said Dr. Dooley. "That's normal, children learn by repetition."

She also suggested to make sure you check in on your children's emotions. Offer them opportunities to express how they feel through drawing, play or storytelling. You should also lead them by example.

"Parents can teach coping and calming strategies like taking deep breaths, counting to 10, listening to music, exercising, practicing yoga, whatever it is that helps calm then, and then practice those strategies daily so they're built in."

For more resources, check out Autism Speaks here.


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