Finding Help and Finding Normal During a Natural Disaster

Depending on where you live, you may find yourself affected by a natural disaster, such as floods, wildfires, earthquakes, or tornadoes. Those of us who volunteer in the special needs community typically find ourselves fielding calls from first responders and shelter managers about how to help individuals and families with autism deal with the horrifying reality that everything familiar to them is irretrievably gone.

With a disaster affecting the lives of so many families and individuals, it’s only natural to remember some of the suggestions we shared about how to carve out a little bit of “normal” when everything else is upside down.

For Young Children
A lot of their favorite diversions are probably pretty low tech, so they don’t involve a trip to a library or internet connectivity. These low tech activities surround favorite items they probably have with them (no matter what) or that can be found fairly easily (blocks, boxes, crayons, pens and paper). If your child has standard stims (my son, Chris, was a wonder at spinning just about any object when he was little) that act as distractions, this is probably a good time to let him or her indulge in the comforting familiarity of those repetitive activities that usually drive you crazy. Who knows, you might not find them so irritating right now…

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Kate Dran, MA About Kate Dran, MA

Kate Dran is a user experience analyst, professional writer, autism advocate and parent of 2 beautiful and perfect sons, one with autism, one developing typically. She founded Adaptive Solutions Analysis, LLC , a private consulting firm that provides usability assessments and user experience analysis for adaptive technologies that support the cognitive, sensory and motor development needs of K-12 students with autism. She believes that autism-friendly user experience is human-friendly user experience.