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Coronavirus

The Covid-19 pandemic has presented challenges for autistic individuals and their families, including huge changes to their daily routines. We understand how this unprecedented situation can increase anxieties and cause difficulties, therefore we have provided some information on our online services, useful links and other resources that may be helpful and of interest.

What we are doing

“Adapting our Adult Day Services for a Safe Resumption”: Our blog outlines how Autism East Midlands enabled a return to day services following a lengthy break and what has been implemented to ensure the safety of our staff and service users. You can read this blog here

“Welcoming our Students back to School Safely”: To find out how we have implemented various procedures and measures throughout our school to ensure the safety of our students and staff, please read our recent blog here. 

Family Support Hubs: Our Family Support Hubs across the East Midlands provide a regular meeting point for families affected by autism, where our families can access activities for the whole family, as well as gain support and specialist information and advice.

Due to the current virus situation, our hubs are offering smaller meet up sessions, virtual groups and 1:1 support where needed (subject to local restrictions & guidelines).

Please contact us to find your local Coordinator in your area at enquiries@autusmeastmidlands.org.uk  and please follow our social media pages to be notified about our Family Support Hubs. Please visit here to find out more about our Family Support Hubs.

 

Covid Alert Levels for the East Midlands

Nottingham & Nottinghamshire Tier 2 – High Alert Poster

 

Face Coverings

How to use our Autism Exemption Card:

1. Print out the document.
2. Cut out the card that best suits you.
3. Stick both sides together to create a doubled sided card (one side with our logo, and one side with the Autism information).
4. Carry this in your purse, wallet or pocket.

To access our Autism Exemption Card, please click the purple tab below. 

Autism Exemption Card

New Face Coverings Guidelines

Government Guidance on Face Coverings: When to Wear One and How to Make your Own

Face Coverings Exemptions Toolkit – Public Health England

 

Blogs

“Autism, Anxiety and Coronavirus”: Our Blog on Autism, Anxiety and Coronavirus outlines ways you can help autistic adults and children through these unprecedented times. You can read this blog here.

“We’re Still Here”: Sophie Jones, our Adult Service Manager at our Sherwood Centre Day Service, shares what our Sherwood Centre service users have been getting up to in her uplifting blog piece. You can read Sophie’s blog here.

“You’re Not Alone”: Alex Devanney, one of our Residential Service Managers, discusses the importance of communication between staff about their mental health wellbeing during this unprecedented time. You can read Alex’s blog here.

“Coping with Uncertainty of Coronavirus”: Autistica provides a guide on how to cope with the uncertainty of Coronavirus including tips for managing feelings of uncertainty. You can read this blog here

“Tips for Managing Mental Health during Coronavirus”: Autistica provides a range of tips based on evidence, with input from autistic people and the Autistica team, who are putting them into practice during lockdown. You can read this blog here.

“Why Bird Music Is Great For Relaxation, Stress And Anxiety”: Managing anxiety through sound therapy, a blog provided by Chipper Birds which you can read here. 

“Face Masks – Barriers in communication for autistic people”: Autism Hampshire has provided an informative piece on how face masks can be a barrier for autistic individuals, raising awareness of the challenges autistic people may face with the new guidelines on face coverings in the UK, you can read this article here. 

“Returning to School: What to Expect and How to Prepare”: Ambitious About Autism has created an article on what to expect when returning to school and college, providing information which will help with the transition back to education following Coronavirus. You can read this here. 

“Left Stranded: The Impact of Coronavirus on Autistic People and Their Families in the UK”: The National Autistic Society, Autistica, the Autism Alliance, Ambitious about Autism and Scottish Autism have collectively produced a report which highlights the often disproportionate and devastating impact the mental health, wellbeing and education prospects of hundreds of thousands of autistic people and their families. Find out how you can help protect autistic people and their families from possible future waves of the pandemic by visiting here. 

 

Useful Links

GOV.UK What has Changed? Starting from the 22nd September

Government Guidance on Coronavirus

Advice on Coronavirus

Coronavirus: Helping Autistic Children

Ambitious About Autism – Easy Reads, Top Tips and Templates for Children & Young People

Elsa Support Resources

Coronavirus Social Stories

 

Coronavirus stories

Ben’s Story

“The first weeks of lockdown were really hard I sometimes felt like screaming at the walls, it was a very dark time. I spent a lot of time watching TV news casts and reading about the virus on social media. I also remained in contact with my friends through social media.

“I found it really hard to set up a routine and my sleep pattern changed but gradually this has improved and I try to get to bed at a decent time.

“Some of the things that I found really helpful have been talking to people through Twitter and Facebook. I have a friend that phones me regularly every day to speak to me.”

To read Ben’s full story featured in the Melton Times, please follow the link: https://www.meltontimes.co.uk/news/people/life-aspergers-under-lockdown-2866557

 

Will’s Story

“There were days that I found difficult and I kept saying to myself, “we are all in the same boat and we will get through this”, there were days that I had arguments with mum and dad because I was bored, and there were days during lockdown that my motivation completely sunk.

However, being proactive helped me clear my mind and cope with lockdown a lot better. Running and doing the stuff I wanted to do has kept me going through this challenging time, while also allocating time for myself.”

To read Will’s full story, please click here

 

Activities

Ten Destinations around the world you can visit virtually

Ten UK Museums you can visit from the Comfort of your own home

“To Wash Hands”: Mencap Makaton video on washing hands

Sensory Activities

How to make your own Face Covering