We’ve shared below links to new and existing resources and some helpful approaches for PDAers, plus a list of free resources that are available whilst we’re all at home social distancing or self-isolating.
We’ll keep updating this page with additional information, ideas and resources – and please do let us know if you have other tips or links to share ...
Some of these ideas may need a little PDA adaptation (see below for further ideas on this) and some may be interchangeable between adults and children, depending on the individual …
Talking about coronavirus
Mental health & well-being
- Strategy to Manage Emotions During Coronavirus – Ashley SLT.
- GOV UK guidance for parents and carers on supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing during the outbreak.
- GOV UK guidance for the public on how to look after your mental health and wellbeing during the outbreak.
- Siblings and staying at home – young sibs ideas and tips for looking after mental health.
- CAMHS Resources – a pool of resources available to help support mental health and well-being.
- Tips on finding our way back to our ‘window of tolerance’ during the coronavirus pandemic – Additude (not PDA specific).
UK Government information & guidance
- GOV UK guidance on coronavirus testing – Unpaid carers added to the list of essential workers and those prioritised for COVID-19 testing in England. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have their own lists and criteria linked to within this guidance.
- GOV UK updated Coronavirus guidance & FAQs (after 4th July) for England. People in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland should follow the specific rules in those parts of the UK.
- Face coverings (please see Face coverings section below)
- GOV UK guidance: What parents and carers need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak (applies to England)
Returning to School
- PDA Society Coronavirus Q&A video: Preparing children for life after the coronavirus outbreak and written summary.
- Preparing Autistic & SEND Children for going back to school – Free online course by Reachout ASC (not PDA specific).
- From Freedom to Lockdown by Holly Clarke (age 13) – Holly shares her perspective on lockdown and returning to school in this video with helpful insight and PDA support tips.
- Back to School – a Social Story – The Rainbow Classroom (not PDA specific)
- The Big Transitions for Autistic and SEND Pupils after Lockdown – Free online course by Reachout ASC (not PDA specific).
- Supporting Transition Back into the Learning Environment (not PDA specific) School and College – Phoenix
- What is a School ‘Bubble’? Social story by Reachout ASC
It may also be helpful for parents to share these resources with their child’s school along with details of any PDA adaptations required.
- GOV UK advise to cover faces in enclosed spaces.
- GOV UK guidance on how to wear and make a cloth face covering.
- Coronavirus: where to buy face masks and how to make your own – Which? (Find out about the different types of face mask and how to use one properly).
- Face coverings on public transport – law from 15th June and list of exemptions (people who do not have to wear a face covering) (applies to England).
- Information on understanding why face coverings may be difficult for autistic people and ideas for helping from The Washington Post and Harvard Health Blog (not PDA or UK specific).
- Hidden disabilities face covering exemption card. Other exemption cards have also been made available online – here are some examples: Brighton & Hove Bus Company; Arriva; Disabled people’s forum; First Group and the National Autistic Society has produced this information sheet about exemptions.
- Social story about seeing people wearing different types of face coverings and mask colouring book – Autism Little Learners.
- Panda-themed face masks from WWF UK and Harry Thompson.
– social stories etc.
- Free coronavirus social story by The Autism Educator and another one from Carol Gray
- Helping autistic students understand coronavirus using visual strategies – Linda Hodgdon
- Coronavirus story for children – Elsa Support
- Dave the Dog is worried about coronavirus by Nurse Dotty Books – a book for children about coronavirus that aims to give information without fear
- Beating the Virus by Beyond Words – a short wordless story to help people understand what to do if you have Coronavirus and how to keep yourself and those who you care about safe. Other free guides and resources relating to coronavirus are also available from Beyond Words
- Dimensions has shared easy read information and social stories about coronavirus
- Playmobil Coronavirus explainer video
- Children’s guide to coronavirus – Children’s Commissioner
- Coronavirus A book for children illustrated by Axel Scheffler – Nosy Crow free digital book
- Easy read posters – latest advice free to print or share online – Keep safe
- How Lego can be used to explain social distancing to children – BBC
Links for autistic adults
- Coping with the coronavirus outbreak – tips from adult PDAers
- Autism and quarantine – NeuroClastic
- Sensory Kits for Adults – Allison Davies (YouTube video)
Links for parents & carers
- Autism and coronavirus: Advice for parents by blogger Rosie Weldon
- Social Workers Toolbox – guide for parents/carers and cartoon book about coronavirus
- How families can cope with self-isolating together – BBC News
- Play in Crisis: support for parents and carers (information and ideas so you can support your child’s play) – International Play Association
- GOV UK guidance – Help children with SEND continue their education during coronavirus (please note: some ideas and advice may need PDA adaptations, particularly those around structure and routine)
- contact For families with disabled children Coronavirus pages – latest updated information, support and advice about Coronavirus and its impact on families with disabled children
Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder
If you or your child is only able to eat safe foods, ARFID Awareness UK has made letters available to help explain this and request exemption from restrictions on purchase quantities of these items.
PDA Society resources
- Our PDA Alert Cards and PDA Awareness Cards can be shown to people to explain PDA and how they can help – available from our shop in packs of 25 cards.
- We’ve put together some PDA-related suggestions that may be helpful to include in healthcare passports.
- Our rolling series of Q&A videos about PDA during the coronavirus pandemic. So far topics include: education; siblings; preparing children for life after the coronavirus outbreak; managing video calls and transition tips; helping PDA teens & young adults understand lockdown rules and hand washing tips for PDA adults.
Other useful links
- The National Autistic Society’s website information about Coronavirus.
- The Challenging Behaviour Foundation has shared various information sheets about coronavirus and family contact/the law/school closures/supporting your loved one at home and will be adding further resources as they are ready.
- Coronavirus and SEND Law – how the Coronavirus Act changes duties under the Children and Families Act, specifically as they relate to SEND Law – Hayley Mason/Special Needs Jungle.
- List of local autism alert card schemes around the UK – National Police Autism Association.
- Person-centred Planning Tools – Preparing for Adulthood.
Resources & things to do whilst at home
- List of free resources and other useful links to things that are available to do whilst we’re all at home social distancing or self-isolating. Includes links to education resources
Other thoughts …
- Maintaining contact with the outside world will be important for everyone during this period of social distancing and self-isolation – fortunately there are lots of ways to keep in touch and maintain a sense of community using modern technology. Many local PDA support groups (listed here) are online and there’s a range of PDA Facebook support groups listed here as well. Our website discussion forum also offers peer to peer support.
- Likewise, there may be opportunities for home and online working which may suit some autistic people well.
- Do let us know if you have other tips or links to share with our PDA community!