Top 5 Tips for Special Needs during CV19

Recent studies have shown that those who have special needs have been adversely affected by the recent outbreak of COVID-19. This apparent respiratory virus is known to cause fevers and breathing issues among those who have been diagnosed. Unfortunately, those with intellectual disabilities and other special needs are experiencing higher rates of infection than those without. 

As the number of infections in the United States and Canada surpass 100,000 cases, it’s more important than ever to take care of those with special needs. Whether you have special needs yourself or you’re trying to better help your loved one, here are some of the top tips you can use to stay healthier in the face of CV19. 

1. Make masks fun 

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One of the most important ways to stop the spread CV19 is by wearing a mask. In fact, medical centers are saying that wearing a face mask is crucial to flattening the curve. Not only do face masks stop you from breathing in contaminants that result in the virus, but they also stop you, as a potential virus carrier, from spreading it to other people. 

At this stage, we must all act like everyone is infected — including yourself. Unfortunately, many people are not wearing masks; after all, masks are uncomfortable and they’re easy to forget when you’re going on a quick trip to the store. But it’s because of people failing to wear their masks that numbers are on the rise again. 

For those with special needs, wearing a mask might seem impossible. This is especially true for people with sensory processing disorders, like autism or Down syndrome. One of the best ways that we can encourage those with special needs to wear masks is by making them fun. 

You can craft your own masks together using fun patterns and colorful designs. Crafting a mask on their own will also encourage folks with disabilities to enjoy the fruits of their labor. If you’re not great at sewing, you can invest in an array of mask options from different retailers. That way, you can wear a different mask every time you leave the house. Instead of simply telling someone to put on the mask, giving them the option to choose which one will make it seem like their own decision. This is key when masks are uncomfortable for folks with special needs. 

2. Bring hand sanitizer wherever you go 

One of the best ways to stop the spread CV19 is by washing your hands. When you’re out shopping for food or going to the bank, however, you might not have access to a bathroom. Regardless, you will likely touch a lot of objects during your time out of the house. As such, bringing hand sanitizer is one of the best ways to stop germs from sticking around. 

This is especially essential for people with special needs who might touch their faces more often. Try investing in hand sanitizers that smell good for the person with special needs. Few people like the smell of the abrasive alcohol in unscented versions so buying options that your loved one can tolerate will make all the difference. 

3. Go on virtual outings

At the end of the day, you’re putting yourself and your loved ones at risk whenever you leave the house. If you don’t have access to a backyard or big park nearby, virtual outings are a great way to stave off feelings of claustrophobia. 

For example, many zoos and aquariums are offering virtual tours of their facilities along with live webcams of some of their animals. This is a great learning opportunity for children with disabilities, as well. If you’re not interested in animals, there are also cultural videos and tourism television programs that can make you feel more connected to the outside world, even when you’re stuck indoors. 

Perhaps best of all, you can also attend a virtual date with your friends and family members. While zoom fatigue is a real thing, the occasional video chat with a good friend or respected community leader can be essential in feeling connected to the ones you love. 

4. Stay active 

It’s not uncommon for people social distancing to feel anxious and fatigued at this time. That’s why it’s important to stay active now more than ever. 

Engaging in a regular exercise routine is key in maintaining your mental health and keeping your body strong. Exercising releases endorphins and hormones that can reduce feelings of stress and promote feelings of happiness. On top of that, exercise is pivotal in maintaining higher levels of energy which is important while we’re staying inside all day. 

For those with special needs, exercise is especially important during the time of CV19. In young children, ample exercise is key. It enables them to engage with others, become more attuned with their body, and help with gross motor functioning. In teenagers and adults, exercise is vital in maintaining their fine motor skills, improving their balance, and keeping mental processing skills sharp. 

You can establish a healthy workout routine at home or try to get outdoors as long as you’re staying safe. The CDC recommends staying at least six feet apart from others at this time. But going to a wide-open park or a secluded hike with family members is a safe way to get the exercise you need. Keep away from potentially dangerous activities. Riding a bike or rollerblading are two examples of this. Unless your loved one has ample experience on these devices, you never know when a sudden loss of balance could result in a trip to the hospital or a collision with another person. In both scenarios, catching CV19 is a serious threat. 

When you go out, be sure to bring that facial covering and a bottle of hand sanitizer to stay safe. 

5. Remember that consistency is key

Those with special needs thrive when their days are more structured. That means waking up and going to bed at the same time every day, eating meals at regular intervals, and including fun, familiar activities. Along with providing a regular routine for your loved one, pointing out when things have stayed the same is also important. 

After all, the world has changed in many ways over the last few months. Identifying the familiar can help keep someone with disabilities grounded. Try to watch the same television shows, play the same games, and eat familiar foods. Now is not the time for exploring too many new things. For folks with special needs, a consistent lifestyle suits them the best. 

Thriving in the world of CV19 is hard, but it can be especially difficult for those with special needs. Rely on these tips when you want to take better care of yourself and your loved ones. 

Home Activities During the Covid-19 Surge

The Covid-19 pandemic brought unprecedented challenges to daily life, necessitating adjustments to how we work, learn, and entertain ourselves within the confines of our homes. The surge in cases often meant stricter social distancing measures, leading families to seek creative ways to stay engaged, active, and mentally healthy during prolonged periods indoors. Here are several activities that emerged as popular and beneficial ways to cope with the limitations imposed by the Covid-19 surge:

Virtual Learning and Workshops

With the surge in Covid-19 cases, many turned to online platforms for education and skill enhancement. Virtual workshops and courses in areas such as cooking, painting, coding, and even physical fitness became popular. These activities not only helped in skill development but also provided a much-needed diversion from the monotony of being at home.

Fitness Challenges at Home

Staying physically active was a significant challenge during lockdowns. Many fitness enthusiasts and gyms moved online, offering virtual classes ranging from yoga to high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Families and individuals took on fitness challenges, set up makeshift home gyms, and used online fitness videos to keep themselves physically active and mentally alert.

DIY Projects and Crafts

Do-it-yourself projects saw a resurgence as people sought constructive ways to engage their time and creativity. Activities ranged from home improvement tasks to arts and crafts projects. Families found joy in creating together, whether it was building birdhouses, painting, knitting, or even gardening.

Culinary Exploration

With restaurants closed or operating under restrictions, many discovered or rekindled a passion for cooking and baking. Social media and online platforms were flooded with pictures of homemade bread, pastries, and elaborate meals. This period of culinary exploration became a way for individuals and families to bond over food, learn new recipes, and enjoy the fruits of their labor together.

Board Games and Puzzles

To reduce screen time and foster family interaction, board games, and puzzles became staples. These activities offered a nostalgic return to simpler forms of entertainment that encouraged strategic thinking, creativity, and cooperation.

Home Gardening

Whether it was starting a vegetable garden or nurturing houseplants, gardening became a therapeutic activity for those stuck at home. It provided a sense of accomplishment, connection to nature, and for some, a reliable source of fresh produce.

These home activities during the Covid-19 surge not only helped individuals and families navigate the complexities and challenges of prolonged home confinement but also highlighted the human capacity for adaptability and resilience. They served as a reminder that, even in the face of global adversity, creativity and the pursuit of growth and connection could thrive.

Physical Activities for Special Needs during CV19

The COVID19 pandemic has led many of us indoors, making regular physical activity a bit challenging, particularly for children with special needs. However, there are still numerous viable options for maintaining a healthy level of physical activity. For children confined indoors, consider activities such as home workout routines, which can be adapted based on their abilities. Try simple exercises like stretching or yoga, which enhance flexibility and are calming for the mind.

Other options can include games that encourage movement, such as Simon Says, dance parties, indoor bowling, balloon volleyball or a fun obstacle course. These activities not only provide a source of exercise but can also improve motor skills and coordination.

For those with enough space and resources, consider incorporating tools such as a therapy ball or a trampoline, which can provide an effective workout while promoting balance and motor planning skills. Even activities as simple as assisting with household chores can add to their physical activity while teaching them valuable life skills.

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Outdoor physical activities, when safe and feasible, are also beneficial. Gardening, short walks, or bike rides while maintaining social distancing guidelines can provide fresh air and a change of environment. Engaging in sensory play with sand, water, or other materials may stimulate children’s senses while contributing to their overall physical activity.

Special Strong provides adaptive fitness for children, adolescents, and adults with mental, physical and cognitive challenges. Start your own Special Strong gym franchise today and create a lasting impact on your community.