Disruptions to our personal and professional lives, schedule changes, and school closings present unique challenges individuals on the autism spectrum and their families. In these challenging times, we are sensitive to the needs of these individuals and their families. To help, we have compiled these resources aimed at reducing anxiety and restoring a sense of routine during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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How Are You Coping With COVID-19 restrictions? Share Your Story!

We asked families to share their stories during the COVID-19. Hear their stories about coping with stay-at-home restrictions during the pandemic. As you continue to adjust to your new work/study from home routines, we invite you to share your snapshots and stories about life at home. What strategies have you discovered for dealing with the disruption? What has been a struggle and what’s going well?

We will share your stories on social media with #AutismCOVID19Stories.

COVID-19 Webinars You Can Watch Now

Covid-19 autism, covid-19 autism support, autism coronavirus

Research on Maternal Immune Activation, Pregnancy & Covid-19

Learn about emerging findings on maternal immune activation and Covid-19. Judy Van de Water, PhD, joined the faculty in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of California, Davis in 1999. In 2000, she also joined the faculty of the newly formed UC Davis M.I.N.D. Institute when she began her research on the immunobiology of autism. Dr. Van de Water’s laboratory pursues research programs pertaining to autoimmune and clinical immune-based disorders including the biological aspects of autism spectrum disorders. The application of Dr. Van de Water’s immunopathology background has been instrumental in the dissection of the immune anomalies noted in some individuals with autism, and in the differentiation of various autism behavioral phenotypes at a biological level. Most notable of these is the investigation of the maternal immune system as it relates to autism spectrum disorders, with particular emphasis on the presence of highly specific maternal autoantibodies to fetal brain proteins. Dr. Van de Water’s seminal work in this area has led to a highly specific biomarker of autism risk as well as three patents leading to the commercialization of this technology. Dr. Van de Water is currently the Director of the NIEHS funded Center for Children’s Environmental Health at UC Davis, investigating potential environmental risk factors contributing to the incidence and severity of childhood autism.

Coping with Life Transitions During the Pandemic

Learn coping and goal setting strategies for navigating transitions between schools, jobs, and  high school to adulthood during the challenges of Covid-19. Amanda Tami holds a master’s degree in counseling psychology and has completed a recertification program in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). In addition to being a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, Amanda is a Licensed Professional Counselor. She has experience working with both children and adults, including those who have autism spectrum and other pervasive developmental disorders, ADD/ADHD, anxiety issues, and trauma, both as a BCBA and as a counselor. She has additional specialized training as a counselor in EMDR therapy and its applications to children.

Children, Anxiety, and ASD in the Pandemic Era

This brief primer and Q&A addresses questions about helping kids diagnosed with ASD cope with anxiety related to the Covid-19 pandemic. Lauren Moskowitz, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at St. John’s University and a core member of the School Psychology (Psy.D. and M.S.) programs. She earned her B.S. from Cornell University and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Stony Brook University. Dr. Moskowitz completed her clinical internship at NYU Child Study Center and Bellevue Hospital and her postdoctoral fellowship at NYU Child Study Center. She is on the editorial board of the Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions(JPBI), serves as a peer reviewer for many other leading journals in the field, and was Co-Chair of the Autism Spectrum and Developmental Disabilities (ASDD) SIG for the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) from 2016-2018.

Sensory Smart™ Strategies During the Pandemic

So much has changed with the COVID-19 pandemic, and its been especially hard on our children, friends, and clients on the spectrum who thrive on routine and predictability. Many have learned to self-regulate through physical outlets that have been limited or may no longer be available. This webinar will provide attendees with practical, safe strategies and activities they can use to meet sensory and motor needs at home, school, and in the community. Lindsey Biel, M.A., OTR/L is a pediatric occupational therapist with a private practice in New York City where she evaluates and treats children, adolescents, and young adults with sensory processing issues, developmental delays, autism spectrum disorders, and other challenges. With the COVID-19 pandemic, she now offers teletherapy to families and schools nationwide.

Talking to kids about changing schedules, altered plans, and disruption during COVID-19

Amanda Tami, MA, BCBA, LBA, LPC, holds a master’s degree in counseling psychology and has completed a recertification program in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). In addition to being a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, Amanda is a Licensed Professional Counselor. She has experience working with both children and adults, including those who have autism spectrum and other pervasive developmental disorders, ADD/ADHD, anxiety issues, and trauma, both as a BCBA and as a counselor. On April 30th, she will join us to discuss ideas for providing compassionate support to individuals on the autism spectrum who are experiencing disruptions and anxiety related to the virus and its impact.

Support for Individuals with ASD: Coping with Family and Virtual Interactions During COVID-19

Learn skills for handling disagreements with family members, resources for virtual social interactions, and general guidelines about coping with the lockdown for individuals with ASD and their families. Our speaker, Aarti Nair, Ph.D., is a postdoctoral scholar in the Dapretto Lab at the Ahmanson-Lovelace Brain Mapping Center. Dr. Nair received her bachelor’s degree in psychology and anthropology from the University of Mumbai, and her master’s degree in clinical psychology from UNC Charlotte. In 2015, Dr. Nair received her Ph.D. in neuropsychology from the SDSU/UCSD Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology in San Diego, CA. Her primary research interests lie in multimodal imaging studies of social cognition in ASD, specifically using fcMRI and DTI techniques to quantify connectivity differences within this population. Currently, she is working on studies involving maturational trajectories of subcortical networks in ASD, as well as network clustering analysis to identify subgroups within the broader ASD endophenotype.


Emotional Support for Families during COVID-19

The uncertainty and sudden changes caused by COVID-19 are difficult for all families, but particularly so for some families and individuals experiencing anxiety and autism. Learn supportive tips, mindfulness techniques, and positive ideas for managing the stress. Presented by Lisa Latten, MsED, Caitlin LeGros, MSN, Suzannah Joy Iadarola, Ph.D., and Lisa Luxemberg, MSW, University of Rochester Medical Center.


Anxiety, Autism: Five Prime Suspects – with tips for coping at home during COVID-19

Christopher Lynch, Ph.D., is a child psychologist who specializes in stress and anxiety management for children and teens who are on the Autism Spectrum. He is currently the Director of the Pediatric Behavioral Medicine Department at Goryeb Children’s Hospital, where he developed the Aspirations life management program. In this webinar, Dr. Lynch explains the major underlying causes of anxiety, as seen in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and gives suggestions on how to tackle them. He also talks about how some of these evidence-based strategies can ease anxiety throughout COVID-19 disruptions.

Home All Day – Basic supports and strategies to get us through COVID-19

Angela Mouzakitis, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LBA teaches at St. John’s University as an Assistant Professor in the Psychology department. Her research includes working with behavior support plans for children with autism spectrum disorder. In this presentation, she discusses some of the significant causes and effects of emotional distress during schedule disruptions and how to tackle them with concrete, evidence-based coping mechanisms.

Home All Day – Exercise During COVID-19

School closures, suspended recreational activities, and limited therapies due to the COVID-19 pandemic have left many families with few choices for physical activities. Tune in to learn how the need for movement and sensory integration doesn’t stop, and tips for exercises that may help fill the gap. David S. Geslak, BS, ACSM EP-C, CSCS started Exercise Connection in 2009.

Prenatal Nutrition During COVID-19

Are you or somebody you know thinking of having a child – or maybe a baby is already on the way? Do you have questions about precautions to consider from a nutritional perspective during the COVID-19 pandemic? Learn steps for optimizing preconception and prenatal health through good nutrition. Vicki Kobliner is a Registered Dietitian has extensive experience using various diet modalities to help children with autism and related disorders. Vicki works with infants, children, and adults with chronic illnesses, digestive disorders, food allergies, ADHD, and autism, and provides fertility and prenatal nutrition counseling.

Preparing for Back to School During COVID-19

As students prepare to return to school during the COVID-19 pandemic, you may have questions about how to help your loved ones on the spectrum cope with social distancing, distance learning, and ongoing change. Tune in to ask your questions in real time.

Social Stories and Video Aids

Here is a list of social stories and priming videos to help individuals with personal hygiene, communicating COVID-19 symptoms, and prepare them for potential medical examinations.

hand washing, social story, covid-19 autism, autism coronavirus

Back-to-School Online Social Story

This downloadable print that explains new online learning procedures.

Feeling Sick: Coronavirus Symptoms Social Story

This downloadable print covers the most common symptoms associated with Coronavirus.

*NEW* Critical Care COVID-19 Commmunication Charts

Symbol boards created to help patients communicate in hospitals and critical care

I Can Wear a Mask: Social Story

This social story explains why it is important to wear masks, what a mask feels like and how to practice wearing a mask safely.

Social Distancing: Explainer Social Story

This social story explains what social distancing is and why it is important during COVID19.

When Can I Go Back To School? Explainer Social Story

This social story explains why schools are closed right now and when it might be safe to go back.

Don’t Touch Your Face: Explainer Social Story

This social story explains why it is important to keep our hands away from our faces during COVID19.

Hand Washing: Step-by-Step Social Story

This downloadable print offers a step-by-step guide for proper handwashing techniques for your loved one to follow along with.

Easing Medical Anxiety Through Play and Priming*

This video gives tips on how to prepare your loved one for a doctor’s visit though priming and medical play.

Easing Anxiety During Medical Procedures: Positioning for Comfort*

This video shows parents and guardians how to position your loved one for comfort during unpleasant medical procedures.

Blood Draw – What to Expect*

This priming video offers individuals the opportunity to preview the process of receiving a blood draw.

*Special thanks to our friends at the Johnson Center for Child Health and Development for their help in creating this content.

Additional Resources: 

  • The Autism Society of America is providing Facebook Live events to provide support for families coping with COVID-19 as well as additional links and information on their website.
  • Autism Speaks provides COVID-19 resources on their website for families, educators and individuals on the spectrum HERE

Wellbeing Wins: Integrating Positive Psychology into the Autism Community

September 25th, 2024|Adults on the Spectrum, Anxiety, Anxiety, Back to School, depression, Executive Function, Health, Neurological, Self Care, Sleep Issues, Social Skills, Webinar|

Free webinar at 1 p.m. Eastern time (US), Wednesday, September 25, 2024 About the speaker: Patricia Wright, PhD, MPH, is Executive Director of Proof Positive: Autism Wellbeing Alliance.

Sexual Victimization in Autism

August 23rd, 2023|News|

In this article: Chronic maltreatment and sexual victimization Trauma and quality of life Risk Factors What can we do? A safer future Resources Despite evidence to the contrary, misperceptions of autistic