New norms present frightening changes for special needs children, adults

It has been said that developing routines during self-isolation can be positive for all of us, but for special-needs children and adults, new routines can be very frightening.

News 12 Staff

Apr 8, 2020, 7:26 PM

Updated 1,567 days ago

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Some Long Island students have struggled to adapt to the new norms of distance learning, but the changes have taken a particular toll on those with autism.
It has been said that developing routines during self-isolation can be positive for all of us, but for special needs children and adults, new routines can be very frightening.
Experts say routines can help focus people with neurological disorders, but with a new set of circumstances, they recommend creating a new set of routines supported by positive reinforcement.
"If you break down the abstractness into something totally concrete, it will help you and will help your child," says neuroscientist Dr. Christine Grimaldi. "And their body will calm down and they will be productive happy and focused."
Cheri Fox is working a lot more with her daughter Brittany, who has cognitive and verbal issues. Typically Brittany spends her days at a special-needs day program, but it is now closed.
Ava Gurba has autism spectrum disorder but is able to live and go to university on her own. Still, she says not following her daily routine during the pandemic has been more than inconvenient, it's mentally disruptive.
"I have some tough days where I feel completely unproductive and nothing gets done," says Gurba.
Grimaldi recommends doing things like exercise, yoga, art projects or anything that special-needs children and adults can get used to.
 


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