When The Unexpected Hits

Day 1 of the Covid-19 School Closing was a success!

Less than a week, 5 days ago, I was getting groceries. I was volunteering at my kid’s school for the book fair (which is my absolute favorite by the way!) Then Thursday it hit. Our world was flipped upside down. Ok, maybe that is a bit drastic, but it was announced that schools would be closed for 2 weeks (3 weeks if you count Spring Break too). The grocery stores started getting bombarded and were running out of things like toilet paper and chicken. Many stores are still having problem keeping things in stock. You know what I did on Friday? I went to the library and stocked up on new books, puzzles and games. I wasn’t thinking about food and supplies, I was thinking about what we were going to do for 3 weeks confined to our home.

So, many kids on the autism spectrum struggle when schedules and routines are changed. Most of the time that is the case with Marissa as well. However, because Marissa really dislikes school, this was a wonderful surprise! But then I broke the news to her that I was going to create a schedule and she would still need to do some school work. “I hate schedules,” she replied. I know that isn’t true, she thrives off of them. What she was really saying is, “I was hoping I could just play tablet all day.” Ha! Not going to happen!

I love summers! I love to plan adventures and go on trips to parks with the kids. This was different (and colder). We have been asked to socially distance ourselves from others, so that meant a lot of time to ourselves. No museums, no parks, no restaurants and no special outings. When I picked up the kids from school on Friday, I was pleasantly surprised to see a packet for each of my kids in their backpack containing some work for them to do at home in the next few weeks. How in the world did the teachers have time to prepare that? They are super heroes!

So, through the weekend, I spent some time coming up with a schedule. I know you’ve probably seen some schedules going around social media. I adjusted it based on what I know works for Marissa and also her therapy. I also came up with some ideas and listed them our for the creative/craft time and the Educational Game time. Here is what our schedule looks like.

We are day one into the schedule and although the kids were not excited about having to do school work at home, they got it done and worked hard. We were surprised again to receive an email from the principal, Marissa’s General Ed teacher, her ASD teacher and Jacob’s teacher. The Principal recorded the “morning announcements” for the kids, which is part of the routine at school. The teachers all provided more materials and checked in to see if we needed anything. This was only day one, so I know I will have to get creative and come up with new things to break up the day. But for today, I’m celebrating a good, successful day! In a time when there is so much going on in our world. It is time to celebrate the small things!

How are you guys doing after day 1?

Marissa's Mom

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