How to Face Lockdown with Children with Intellectual Disabilities
Having to stay at home is complicated for everyone, but facing lockdown with children with intellectual disabilities can be especially challenging. That's why we want to share some ideas on how you can handle this unique situation.
In this article, we’ll share some ideas to help you face lockdown with children with intellectual disabilities.
The worldwide health crisis caused by coronavirus has come to the point where we need to stay at home. For any family, this is a challenge. But facing lockdown with children with intellectual disabilities can be even more difficult.
All of the measures that have taken place in the United States, including school closings, have affected special education schools, day centers, therapy programs, and more.
Therefore, many children, adults, and elderly individuals with disabilities have to go without the therapy they need. What’s more, they must do without social interaction and occupational activities, and more.
The consequences of lockdown with children with intellectual disabilities
Parents who are going through lockdown with children with intellectual disabilities are facing a difficult situation. It’s important for children on the autism spectrum or with behavior disorders to be able to go outdoors. With supervision, of course.
This is because these children can develop behavior problems, self-injury, become disruptive, and even become aggressive if they spend too much time indoors. Some of the consequences in children with intellectual disabilities can include:
- Highly intense tantrums.
- Rejection of limits.
- Excess motor restlessness.
Ideas on how to face quarantine with children with intellectual disabilities
Organize your day and respect routines
It’s important to maintain a schedule when it comes to meals, personal hygiene, sleep, and other activities. This isn’t helpful only for children, but for adults as well.
Don’t make too many demands under these circumstances
Although we want everything under control, that can be complicated under the current circumstances. Therefore, it’s better to adjust our expectations and establish some daily objectives. That way, we can enjoy the small achievements that we all make each day.
Encourage security and confidence, creating a pleasant environment
We can give our little ones responsibilities so they help us set the table, load the washing machine, etc. We can also play games that they enjoy and know how to play so that they feel valued and recognized.
Doing physical exercises helps us face lockdown with children with intellectual disabilities
You can do this in the form of a game. What’s most important is that it involves movement and allows your child to release energy. You can play tickling games, use a ball, practice yoga for children, create an obstacle course with objects around your house, etc.
The idea is to help your child burn energy, as this helps avoid tantrums and discomfort that can result from inactivity.
Implement games that are new and attractive for your child. For example, you can do crafts as there are thousands of ideas you can choose from. Make sure whatever activity you choose adapts to your child’s preferences and interests.
We all need time to disconnect
Having time to simply disconnect is important for every member of your family… both parents and children. This may mean reading, watching movies together, playing, talking with friends, resting, etc. Each individual can choose their own leisure activity.
Set time aside each day to perform activities that require more concentration and effort
Try to do activities with your children that are similar to those they would normally do in therapy. That way, they will follow their work routine and continue advancing towards their goals. This will make it easier to go back to your normal routine once lockdown is over.
Listening to music relaxes all of us and produces good feelings
Listening to music is another great way to face lockdown with children with intellectual disabilities. If your child is becoming anxious, you can turn on some music, close your eyes, think about nice things, and relax.
You can also dance or sing together to whatever music your child enjoys. What’s most important is having a good time and staying entertained!
Watch what you eat and get as much sunlight and fresh air as possible
Now that we’re not getting out as much, we’re spending less time in the sun. But it’s important for our bodies to get the vitamin D we need.
Therefore, spend as much time as you can near windows, on your patio, or our in the yard, if you have one. Also, don’t neglect a healthy diet. This is a key factor in staying healthy and hydrated at all times.
These are some tips to keep in mind when facing lockdown with children with intellectual disabilities. But, of course, anyone – young and old – can benefit from implementing these ideas. Putting them into practice can help you stay physically and emotionally healthy in these difficult times.