Special Needs COVID-19 Resources and Information

Hi Everyone, Like most people in the world, the COVID-19 Virus has greatly impacted my own little universe. Living in the epicenter of the virus at last count, almost 4,000 people in my county have tested positive. I too seek ways to live a normal life in these trying times.  Its been very challenging to continue to write articles on special needs with so much is going on in the world.

Looking to see how I can help others during this time, I created COVID-19 virus page which I will continue to add more information as we learn more. I advise you to stay tune to both local news and get regular updates from the CDC as they update on a regular basis. If you are a reader from another County, please check on updates from your government on a regular basis.

Please all stay safe during these trying times, continue to help one another and we will come out from this better and stronger.

 

Articles on what you need to know about the COVID-19 Virus:

CDC

CNET.Com

RWJ Barnabas Health

Washington Post

UNICEF- What parents should know

CDC Resources

Cases in the United States

Community and Faith Based Leaders

How to prepare

Guidance for Schools and Childcare Programs

Travel

The following are free social stories on Teachers Pay Teachers Must have a log on account):

COVID-19 No Print Social Story

COVID 19 and Social distancing Story

COVID 19 Social Narrative

Social Narrative for Autism

The following links and information comes  from the U.S. Education Department. Check for updated information:

Additional Resources for Higher Education Institutions:

Schools should continue promoting everyday disease prevention strategies:

  • If you are sick, stay home from school.
  • Avoid close contact with those who are already sick.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing with a tissue or the crook of your arm.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Consult this web page for further guidance from the U.S. Department of Education.

Schools can share relevant CDC fact sheets to help students, families, and staff understand COVID-19 along with steps they can take to protect themselves:

COVID-19 and Special Needs

Best practices in using telemedicine for ADHD during the COVID-19 pandemic

Coronavirus and Anxiety

How to help a child with autism adjust

Supporting families through COVID-19

Handwashing

CDC- Handwashing Training and Education-Includes lessons and activities for all ages including a 30-page PDF and age appropriate handwashing curriculum.

Free Printables– Activities from nourishinteractive.com, includes handwashing worksheets, lesson plans and a math sequencing worksheet that teaches the important steps to good handwashing techniques.

Kids Handwashing Coloring Page– Developed by Lancaster County Health Department including 2 coloring pages and instructions on how to wash your hands properly.

Teach-nology- A lesson plan for kids pre-school age which discusses germs and how germs make people sick.

Why We Wash Our Hands– From Florida Health Department for children ages 3-41/2. The lesson educates children on how to prevent common health problems by developing handwashing skills.

The following articles are links to articles specific to handwashing and the COVID-19 virus:

CDC- Handwashing and Prevention

Family Doctor

UNICEF

USAToday

The following are worksheets to keep your little ones busy during this time:

Identify Money Freebie

Free Printable Money WorkSheets

Free Skip Counting by 5″s Worksheet

 

Free Printable Cerebral Palsy Fact Sheet

Want to learn more about Cerebral Palsy?  The following is a fact sheet that provides information on the facts of cerebral palsy including the definition and the prevalence, signs, types, and causes.

The fact sheet also includes information on teaching strategies and organizational resources.

Download fact sheet here

Memorial Day Sensory Activities

Memorial Day is an American holiday observed to honor the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. Military. It originated following the Civil War and became an official holiday in 1971.

Memorial Day is also an opportunity to work on fun Memorial Day activities. Children and adults with special needs lean best when using a multi-sensory approach. This helps to stimulate learning and engage individuals on various levels of learning.

The activities and lessons that I have chosen focus on visual and tactile stimulation and includes both math and reading activities. The craft activities work to improve fine motor skills.

 

American flag on a pencil craft- Printable templates

Craft stick flag– U.S. flag made from craft sticks

Free Memorial Day packs- packets includes clip cards, word problems, fill in and missing numbers

Patriotic Pinwheel– Craft easy to make pinwheel

USA Wreath– Simple red, white and blue wreath made out of construction paper.

 

 

15 Visual Schedule Resources

Imagine during the course of the day you have no idea what is expected of you. Moving from one activity to the next depending on others to inform you of your daily plans. there are many benefits to using visual schedules especially for autistic children and adults. Studies show that many people diagnosed with autism experience high levels of anxiety often caused by unstructured activities.

Visual schedules are a way to communicate an activity through the use of images, symbols, photos, words, numbers and drawings that will help a child or adult follow rules and guidelines and understand what is expected during the course of the day.

Th following are resources containing information on creating visual schedules and free printables:

8 types of visual student schedules

Building a daily schedule

Daily visual schedule for kids free printable

Examples of classroom and individual schedule and activity cards

Free picture schedule

Free visual schedule printables to help kids with daily routines

Free visual school schedules

How to templates- visual schedules

How to use visuals purposefully and effectively

Time to eat visual schedules

Using visual schedules: A guide for parents

Visual schedule for toddlers

Visual schedule resources

Visual supports and autism spectrum disorders

What is visual scheduling?

Social Skills Resources for Parents and Special Education Teachers

For some autistic children, social situations can be overwhelming and cause a great amount of anxiety. One of the characteristics of having an autism spectrum disorder is social interaction. Dr. Lorna Wing described social interaction as:

  1. not paying attention to others
  2. being aloof, distant and uninterested
  3. being alone and withdrawal
  4. difficulty in making and sustaining relationships
  5. a lack of social skills

social-skills

Social skills vary from conversation to friendship skills. The following links provides social skills resources on a variety of topics:

5 tips for running a social skills group ages 7-11. This site provides tips on increasing social skills via working in a group.

12 activities to help your child with social skills. This article by the Friendship Circle describes 12 ways to help improve social skills

101 ways to teach children social skills. Written by Lawrence Shapiro, this ready-to-use reproducible activity book (pdf) contains information on communication, being part of a group, caring about yourself, and problem solving.

Building social skills through activities. Danny Pettry created an e-book that focuses on various activities that will increase social skills for children.

Kind words sensory lesson friendship activity. This article includes information on why kind word are important through sensory play.

More tools for teaching social skills in school. Examples of role-plays, worksheets and student behavior.

Social skills activities. Free printable activity sheets on developing and practicing social skills.

Social skills lesson activities. Developed by special educator Angela Cardenos, this website includes various lessons on social skills and friendship

Social skills lessons on friends. A lesson plan and activity on identifying the qualities of a friend and naming behaviors that a friend may exhibit.

Social Skills Worksheets. This site includes printables for social skills designed to develop appropriate social skills.