Coronavirus information for families with special-needs kids
School closings are also affecting families with special needs children, including those on the autism spectrum. The good news is help is available, but it also is still evolving.
Suzanne Buchanan of Autism New Jersey said the organization is preparing information to help parents with the special challenges ahead.
The organization's website will have a "one-stop shop" hub with information on health and safety, keeping children occupied and self-care for parents, she said.
She says Autism New Jersey is also investigating possible help from telehealth services.
"Bottom line: it's very difficult to provide what a child or adult with autism needs on a 24/7 basis," Buchanan said. "There is limited service delivery happening where individual therapists are coming to families homes. Some families understandably are declining services or anyone coming in their home at this time."
She said the group has help and advice on its website at autismnj.org/coronavirus. Autism New Jersey is also available to answer questions at 800-4-AUTISM.
Some examples of the information on the website:
- Assistance from the U.S Department of Education for families of children with disabilities.
- Guidance regarding insurance carriers and their involvement.
- Earned sick leave, temporary disability and family leave insurance.
The state Department of Children and Families also has helpful links on its website.
Joe Cutter is the senior news anchor on New Jersey 101.5