April 2020 – LACAN Newsletter

Thank you for subscribing to our first ever monthly Newsletter!

April felt like the perfect time to debut a newsletter, since we are committed to honouring autism and what it brings to our lives.

April honours World Autism Day all month long!

We’ve compiled some lists for the whole family to do while stuck at home during social distancing:


• Ride roller-coasters.
• Virtual tours of museums.

Below are some ideas taken from:


https://www.kvue.com/article/news/entertainment-news/things-to-do-in-self-quarantine/269-f002dfab-7edb-42cd-bc67-857b671dea1e.

Some ideas to consider talking to children about COVID-19:

This time may be very challenging for children and adolescents, some of whom might not understand the reasons for school closures and the cancellation of extracurricular activities. They are likely to be bombarded with information through social media and from their friends that can cause anxiety and alarm.

Young people may also sense the anxiety of their parents, and worry about their own health and of other family members. For example, young children may not understand why they can no longer hug a grandparent. Children need to be reassured in a way that is age appropriate.

As a first step, you may consider a family meeting to:

· Acknowledge their fears.
· Explain the overall risk of getting the virus and what happens if they do get sick.
· Outline the steps you are taking to keep them and yourself safe during this pandemic.
· Reassure them that young children tend to get a mild form of the virus.
· Discuss any questions they may have.

You may also consider:

· Engaging them in activities that can help them feel empowered/choice.
· Helping your children become better consumers of health information. For example, help them to identify credible online sources of information.
· Helping adolescents understand the importance of social distancing, and encourage them to limit their socializing.
· Encouraging your children not to share drinks, makeup or other personal items during this time.
· Advising adolescents not to smoke or vape, and assisting them to stop immediately since sharing vapes or cigarettes are fairly common.

How to Self-Isolate:

Please Stay home, when possible.

· Do not use public transportation, taxis or rideshares whenever possible.
· Do not go to work, school or other public places.
· Limit the number of visitors in your home.
· Keep away from seniors and people with chronic medical conditions (e.g. diabetes, lung problems, immune deficiency).

Emotional Health:

Pay Attention to Your Body and Your Emotions

· It’s natural to experience stress and anxiety in the face of a threat we cannot control. Because every person reacts differently, notice what your body and emotions are telling you.
· Listen to your emotions, noticing any anxiety, sadness, anger, or detachment.
· Listen to your body, noticing any change in appetite, new aches and pains, or feeling particularly hot or cool.
· When you notice troubling symptoms, pause to care for your body and mind. If you become unable to manage or function well, seek the assistance of a professional.

Employ self-care practices prove helpful in everyday living:

· Maintain your normal routines.
· Connect with family and friends.
· Eat well and stay active.
· Get adequate rest.
· Do enjoyable activities; and
· Employ coping skills that nurture your spirit, like mindfulness exercises or prayer.

Things You Can Do For Your Mental Health:

Value yourself:

Treat yourself with kindness and respect, and avoid self-criticism. Make time for your hobbies and favorite projects, or broaden your horizons. Do a daily crossword puzzle, plant a garden, take virtual dance lessons, learn to play an instrument or become fluent in another language.

Take care of your body:

· Taking care of yourself physically can improve your mental health. Be sure to:
· Eat nutritious meals
· Avoid cigarettes
· Drink plenty of water
· Exercise, which helps decrease depression and anxiety and improve moods
· Get enough sleep. Researchers believe that lack of sleep contributes to a high rate of depression in college students.

Learn how to deal with stress:

Stress is a part of life.
Practice good coping skills: Try One-Minute Stress Strategies:
• Tai Chi
• Exercise
• Take a nature walk
• Play with your pet
• Try journal writing as a stress reducer
Also, remember to smile and see the humor in life. Research shows that laughter can boost your immune system, ease pain, relax your body and reduce stress.

Break up the monotony:

Although our scheduled routines make us more efficient and enhance our feelings of security and safety, a change of pace can perk up a tedious schedule. Alter your jogging route, plan a road-trip, take a walk in a different park, hang some new pictures.

We want to hear some ways you are keeping busy.

Email us at:
lac.autismnetwork@gmail.com

Don’t forget to checkout our “Links page” on our website for new ideas!


http://www.lacautismnetwork.com


Stay Well.
Stay Healthy.
Stay Safe.

Mandy Stapley
Founder/President LACAN