The Coronavirus has spawned a flurry of cancellations of so many activities in which our loved ones participate. Thus, they lose the lack of structure which is so comforting. Without routine, those affected by FASD may feel unsettled and have feelings of sadness, frustration, impatience, fear of the future, and trauma related feelings may raise their head. In times of stress, we know that children may be more demanding of those around them.
Of course, when we stay centered and calm, this is amazingly soothing to those with FASD. Maintaining what routines you have within the home, as well as establishing some new ones can be helpful. For many, a visual “schedule” will comfort them. Creative activities such as writing; drawing; play acting; writing haikus, etc. can help children express their feelings. Physical activity can assist in dissipating an overload of feelings. This may be a good time to have “heavy lifting” activities….do you need items moved from one place in your house to another? Or lifting bags of mulch? Of course, getting into a power struggle about doing something like this will not be helpful! According to Ed Riley, noted FASD researcher, Wii is a great activity since it uses both sides of the brain.
Below are some resources that may be useful for you, your family, and your clients.
UK NOFAS published today a useful guide: http://www.nofas-uk.org/?p=1534
Slate has a different approach to hope those of us with children home from school https://slate.com/human-interest/2020/03/coronavirus-kids-activities-toys-games-work-from-home.html.
Free Educational Subscriptions
Virtual Field Trips
Virtual Museum Tours
Free Online Classes from Scholastic
North Carolina School of Science and Math will be reading books for all ages on their FB page starting March 16.
Taking care of your behavioral health from SAMHSA https://store.samhsa.gov/system/files/sma14-4894.pdf
Tips to reduce anxiety and stress from the American Psychological Association https://www.apa.org/helpcenter/pandemics
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network provides some specific ways to help children of different ages. Please take into account that the chronological age of those with FASD may differ dramatically from developmental age (dysmaturity) when reviewing the charts on this website. https://www.nctsn.org/sites/default/files/resources/fact-sheet/outbreak_factsheet_1.pdf
And please don’t forget to take care of yourself!