Talk with your child about coronavirus.

If you are caring for a child or family member with autism, it’s important to talk with them about coronavirus to ensure they have the information they need, but without unnecessarily frightening them. Expert guidance for talking about frightening events also applies: 

  1. Talk with your children before they hear about it elsewhere, so you can understand what they know and provide facts appropriate to their age and understanding.
  2. Communicate in a way that your child prefers, such as pictures or stories. This flu teaching story may be helpful.
  3. Allow your child to process the information. That may mean they “play out” or talk about fearful topics, but you can be on hand to reassure them and answer questions.
  4. Communicate with your support system, including school contacts, caregivers and support groups.
  5. Be on the lookout for changes in routine or other signs of distress. Your child may need additional supports if they are feeling stressed or anxious.
  6. Be a source for reassurance and positivity to help your child feel safe through frightening situations. 

Provided by Autism Speaks.