Autism Awareness Week: Tips and Tricks under lockdown

PUBLISHED: 11:41 02 April 2020 | UPDATED: 11:51 02 April 2020

Potential Kids and ADD-vance support parents and children across Hertfordshire. Picture: Stephanie Belton Photography

Potential Kids and ADD-vance support parents and children across Hertfordshire. Picture: Stephanie Belton Photography

Archant

During Autism Awareness Week we asked charities what advice they have for Hertfordshire parents during the lockdown.

Both Hatfield-based charities, Potential Kids and ADD-VANCE, say its about what works best for your own neurodiverse family.

Director of Potential Kids Susanna Mateu said: “There’s no magic formula because every family is different.”

To support her son, who is neurodiverse during this time, she said: “As a family, we are working parents and have prioritised our Mental Health over everything do our approach is very flexible.

“Daily physical exercise (PE with Joe Wicks and dancing with Oti Mabuse) are part of our routine as much as daily yoga and tai chi or meditation.

“There’s also time for homework, learning foreign languages, playing, talking/video calling relatives and friends etc but without any added pressure.”

She added, “I know a friend’s son is fine with isolation but as a teenager he’s super anxious about the virus itself.”

After speaking to other mums, Susanna said people are trying to keep a routine, work with low demands, keep things normal and positive, have a stack of things set aside so if a melt down occurs you can distract them, short and sweet activities, a visual timetable for the day/week, giving choices and control, have a space for sensory needs and doing what works for you.

You can also try the new online ADD-vance Family Coaching Service. These one-off sessions (30 or 60 minutes) are delivered via phone or video conference and provide an opportunity to discuss concerns and brainstorm strategies with an specialist ADD-vance Coach.

For more information please call 07716 744662 or email herts@add-vance.org.

In Hertfordshire, there is a number of local charities who support families living with autism including:

add-vance.org

angelssupportgroup.org.uk

familiesinfocus.co.uk

potentialkids.org

spaceherts.org.uk

The National Autistic Society also has a comprehensive source of information about autism: autism.org.uk


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