Updated: May 12, 2020
To our CARES community, friends, and supporters-
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and the arrival of this month in 2020 could not come at a more appropriate time. In California, the continuance of social distancing and shelter-in-place means that now, more than ever, it is time to check in on the mental health and well-being of ourselves, and our families and friends.
For families living with the realities of autism, these times have been immensely challenging. The disruption of routine, the prevalence of uncertainty, and the constant cabin fever are all major stressors for anyone, however, are especially tough for kiddos with developmental disabilities.
Helpful Resources and Ideas for Caregivers
Many of us are already familiar with the Premack Principle, more colloquially known as “Grandma’s Law.” Used widely in the ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) world, it’s incredibly helpful for caregivers of children with developmental delays to re-familiarize themselves with it during this tricky time. Take a look here for a breakdown of the Premack Principle.
Fred Finch CARES provides high-quality ABA to children with developmental disabilities, of all ages, to encourage helpful behaviors and reduce harmful ones. Since this service is always provided in-person, ABA has been especially tricky during the COVID-19 crisis. We’ve been incredibly proud of the dedication and resilience of our staff during this difficult time. Click here for more detailed information on what ABA practitioners are navigating in the face of the Coronavirus outbreak.
Creativity is Key
Build your own at-home obstacle course! Many families have limited space during this shelter-in-place order, and it can be a real struggle to help your little ones get all of their energy out. Here’s a guide to building an in-home obstacle course with household items for a great way to give kiddos some physical fun. If you’ve got access to a yard or outdoor space, go even bigger by using pool noodles, lawn furniture, or any sporting equipment your kid knows how to use.
Supporting Mental Health Awareness Month During Social Distancing
The most important thing to remember about mental health awareness is that mental health is something that we all have. Remember to check in with yourself and take care of your needs, as well as those of your family and friends. The CDC has released some great tips on coping with anxiety during these tough times.
-Social media: Overcoming the stigma of mental health challenges is one of the most important pieces in our community fight for mental health. Sharing your story, or offering support for others who are struggling, can go a long way.
-If poster-making was a successful activity during Autism Awareness Month, try it again for Mental Health Awareness month! The National Alliance for Mental Illness has some great resources for posters and graphics if you need some inspiration.
For more information about Fred Finch CARES, or to inquire about our services, please visit our website: www.fredfinch.org/CARES