It is important to remain calm and talk calmly with your children. Sit them down and explain the current situation with the school buildings closing, and that while things will look differently moving forward, their education is still important to them. I am encouraging parents to talk with their child about how all of them will work on developing a plan/schedule to set aside time during the day for education activities as well as physical activities.
I am also encouraging parents to talk with their children about how they will interact with their friends while practicing social distancing. It is important to let the children know that they can still connect with their friends but it will look differently then what they are used to as school. Help the children set up times they can call or FaceTime with their friends. It is important for the children to know that their parents are there for them during this time of change and that they understand this can create a lot of worries and fears for them about what will happen next.
Children need to know that they can ask their parents questions about this and express how they feel. The parents may not have all the answers, and it would be important to say this, but let them know they will work on a plan to keep them safe and help them anyway they can.
Jennifer Schreiner, BCBA, LMLP, Autism Specialist, IIS