Breaking through barriers for workers
who have children with special needs

STRATEGIES FOR SUPPORTING CHILDREN DURING COVID-19

 ACKNOWLEDGE FEARS & BE REAL

  • Be honest and give age-appropriate information
  • Occasionally be open about your own emotions
  • Help children see it is okay to have feelings AND show them that you can manage them

HELP MANAGE NEWS INTAKE

  • Children look to the adults around them to learn how frightened they should be
  • It’s helpful if adults take in the news and then convey it to children, rather than children viewing news on their own
  • Discuss news in the context of a supportive relationship and in manageable bits
  • Help children learn about credible news sources

BE CURIOUS WITH THEM

  • Ask about what they are hearing and thinking
  • Respond to their questions with facts
  • Use developmentally appropriate language and relatable examples
  • Follow their lead of where their thoughts are going, and help them limit
  • the amount of time spent focusing on them.

YOUR PRESENCE AND ATTENTION ARE KEY

  • Be available for questions or expressions of emotion
  • It’s okay if you don’t have all the answers; your presence can help them tolerate not knowing
  • Find simple activities to keep busy and shift attention when they’re ready

ROUTINE!

  • Participate in regular activities as much as possible
  • Eat, sleep, bathe, and play at regular times that children are used to
  • Help children know what they can do – this builds self-efficacy (this may include chores around the house, creating new things, continuing to play, etc.)