These Free Books Can Help Children With Autism Understand the Pandemic
It can be difficult for any child (or an adult, to be honest) to grasp all the changes that we have had to make to our lives this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. But children with autism often need a little extra help to understand why life looks so different now, especially as we approach the start of another uncertain school year. This is why one speech therapist has created a collection of free books that parents can download and share with their kids.
Tara Tuchel, who specializes in working with children with autism, created the Autism Little Learners website to provide resources for parents. Throughout the pandemic, she has written numerous books specifically aimed at helping young children and children with autism understand things like mask wearing and social distancing. The collection began, she tells Scary Mommy , with a friend’s request:
“When the coronavirus pandemic began, I had a friend who asked if I could write a social story for her daughter, who was finding it difficult to stay at home,” Tuchel tells Scary Mom. “She missed her favorite shops and restaurants. So, I wrote her a story about the coronavirus and about staying at home. “
Tuchel said it helped her friend’s daughter a lot, so she posted the story on her social media for free. She said that the need for more prompted her to write more stories about what is happening in the world. “I wrote stories about COVID and kept 6 feet apart. Then, about distance learning and how-to video chat, ”she said. “Then we saw masked people followed by masks. Then the story about not going back to school. “
Each story is short and easy to digest, with vibrant, colorful graphics and simple, straightforward language. Here’s where to start:
- What is social distancing ?
- See people in masks
- I put a mask on my toys
- Masks, face shields and gloves, oh my!
- Why does my therapist look different ?
- Why does my doctor look different ?
- Back to school
- Riding the bus during COVID-19
- Greetings to my teachers and friends
- Wearing a mask at school
- Haircut during COVID-19
Tuchel also has an entire section of his website dedicated to COVID-19 resources, including these and other stories, coloring books, and distance learning tips to make it easier for parents to find what they need.