Talking to Your Child about Coronavirus

3/24/2020 By The AIM Clinics Team

With all of the rapidly developing news around coronavirus, and the COVID-19 disease it causes, it can be difficult to keep up with and understand what is going on. For children, it can be even harder to comprehend what the virus is and how it may or may not impact their lives and loved ones.

In an effort to arm parents with a few different resources for talking to children, and specifically children with autism, about the virus and disease, AIM Clinics has rounded up the following websites and documents.

1. Resources for children with autism

Autism Speaks is an excellent resource for how to talk to your child with autism about a variety of topics. This post from them explains how to talk about coronavirus, how to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and what to do if someone in your family becomes ill.

Autism Focused Intervention Resources and Modules (AFIRM) has an excellent COVID-19 Toolkit. This toolkit outlines 7 support strategies “designed to meet the unique needs of individuals with autism during this period of uncertainty”.

If you prefer audio, NPR recently posted a 4-minute snippet on How To Talk About COVID-19 With People Who Have Autism.

We've also included a few of our own downloadable resources below that may help explain what coronavirus is and help develop an effective handwashing routine.

2. Resources for all children

There are many useful resources online for how to talk to any child about the outbreak, and many of these tips and suggestions naturally apply to children with autism as well.

This article from WTTW does an excellent job of highlighting the dangers of misinformation for kids, as well as offering a comprehensive guide for correcting misconceptions.

Both the Centers for Disease Control and the National Association of School Psychologists offer in-depth, detailed guides on talking to children about coronavirus.

3. Resources for parents

Children aren’t the only ones with questions. For that reason, we’re also including this page from the Centers for Disease Control, which includes background information on the virus as well as the latest statistics and news. This round-up from the World Health Organization also links to a variety of resources and information.

At AIM Clinics, we encourage our parents to talk to their children about coronavirus, and to do it in a calm, reassuring way. It is always better for them to hear the facts from you. They’ll feel better that their questions are answered, and you’ll feel better knowing their information came from a reliable source—you!

This is an uncertain time for everyone, but by sharing and talking about the facts with our children and each other, we can help stem the spread of this disease—and give our kids tools to better understand it.

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