Covid has been a part of our lives for awhile now. We have all experienced changes. There have been lots of ups and downs. We have had to learn to improvise, compromise and just find different ways of doing things. There has been lots (and I mean lots) of family time. There has been stress and anxiety about many things – financial, jobs, school, mental health and just plain coping on a daily basis.
Autism does not get a vacation from any of this. It is right there in the middle along with everything else. So how do people with autism cope in such an unstable environment and when things are constantly changing?
My teens have both had their fair share of ups and downs. Our daughter who struggles with social anxiety as well as autism and some other mental health challenges, has done surprisingly well during this period of time. I think the biggest challenge for her has been not being able to be in contact with friends and spending so much time in the house. Let’s face it no matter how much you love your family, being confined with them for such a long time can take it’s toll.
For our son, its been a little complicated with school and the fact that it was constantly changing whether or not you went in person or were on-line. His days were confusing and mixed up, but overall he fared pretty well and rolled with the punches, if you will. He’s come a long way in not being so rigid and the learning continued whether or not he was at home or at school.
Covid had a negative effect socially for both of our children. No matter how many things you do on-line, there is nothing like being face-to-face with peers, teachers, and friends to keep building up relationships.
There are some positive changes though that have happened in covid that have been very revealing and habits that we will continue to embrace.
For instance, being able to sit down and eat lunch with the kids every day has truly strengthened our relationship. Being with family has made us realize what is important and the fact that we don’t need to be so busy to be happy. We can just live in the moment and enjoy silence with each other if that’s what we want to do. It’s allowed more family game time and movie time. The bonding that has happened has been so very important for our family. Just being able to shut out the outside world for awhile is very valuable for our mental health.
As things now move forward and open up, I know that our family will not only cherish but we will strive to maintain the importance of our family and continue to build on the bond we share together.