Autism Edmonton enhances the lives of people on the autism spectrum, through knowledge, services and inclusive opportunities.

COVID-19


COVID-19 Information and Resources 

We developed this page to share information on internal and external resources that may be useful during the COVID-19 pandemic, including information specific to the autism community. We will regularly update this page with emerging information, making it easier for you to find content in one place. If we are missing a resource others should know about or if a resource has changed, please let us know.

Last updated on: October 20, 2020

Quick Links:

(Click on the chapter name to skip ahead to the section that interests you) 

Autism Edmonton during COVID-19

Self-Care Kits from Autism Edmonton

Health Information

Financial Help

Caregivers Tips

Learning at Home

Staying Active Ideas

Mental Health Resources

Safety at Home

Community Supports

 

Autism Edmonton during COVID-19

 

Update: Autism Edmonton Office and the Pantry Food Program Are Open By Appointment Only as COVID-19 Safety Measure (OPEN BY APPOINTMENT)

The health and safety of our members and staff is our top priority. Autism Edmonton continues implementing the Safety Protocol in alignment with the Alberta Health Services recommendations. The changes we’re making are to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Here is a quick update about our programs and services:

  • Effective September 13, 2020, we are offering Curbside FOOD PANTRY Pickup. Distribution hours are Monday through Thursday, 9.30 a.m. to 4. 30 p.m. Please give us a call at 780-453-3971 ext. 1 to learn more. Members can still pick up a hamper in person - make sure you book an appointment before coming in (call 780-453-3971 ext. 1). You will be asked to follow our COVID safety protocols, including only one person from a household per visit.
  • Due to public health measures related to COVID-19, our office is closed to walk-in visitors. However, we understand, in certain circumstances, you need to have an in-person appointment. To book it, please call 780-453-3971 ext. 1. All visitors (must be over 18) will be required to wear masks and use hand sanitizer upon entering the building. Masks will be provided if needed. All visitors will also be asked to follow social distancing and hand hygiene protocols.
  • As always, we are available to answer your questions and connect by phone or email. Our hours of operation are Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. For support services, please call 780-453-3971 ext. 1. Our full directory can be found at www.autismedmonton.org/contact
  • Our social-recreational programming (Occasio for children and youth and The League for adults) is delivered in-person and virtually. Please visit our website to learn about COVID safety protocols and activity details.
  • Peer support groups are currently delivered virtually.
  • Beginning April 23, 2020, the Ministry of Community and Social Services (CSS) will be releasing a weekly Q&A to answer questions from the Community Disability Services sector. If you have any questions or concerns on COVID-19 related issues that you'd like to be covered in this Q & A, please submit them to Iryna at communications@autismedmonton.org. We invite you to share your input so that your views on the impact of the pandemic on the autism community will be considered.
  • Advocacy Toolkit for Parents and Caregivers - Back to School During COVID (NEW)

Self-Care Kits from Autism Edmonton

“Self-care is not selfish. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.”
- Eleanor Brownn
From breathing techniques to tips to design your workspace, our self-care kits are filled with activities and resources to support your overall well-being on a day-to-day basis.

Health Information

Protective Masks Available for Order

Community and Social Services (CSS) and Alberta Health Services will provide masks to you to provide to staff coming to your home to provide services through Family Support for Children with Disabilities agreements and Family Managed Services agreements. In order to determine your needs and to expedite distribution when masks are available, please return this form to CSS.EdmontonDisabilityServices@gov.ab.ca. If possible, please provide this information by April 27, 2020; however, orders will continue to be accepted after this date. If you have questions or prefer to provide information by phone please call 780-427-4354. For toll free service dial 310-0000 followed by the area code and phone number. One week after you receive the first order of masks, please use the form to re-order the number of masks you will need for the next two-week period. 

Please note, when masks are used there are precautions that need to be taken to ensure they are used properly. Alberta Health Services has shared information on how to use PPE safely, read more here: https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/info/Page6422.aspx

To Protect Yourself and Others, Alberta Health Recommends:

  • cover coughs and sneezes
  • avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • stay at home and away from others if you are feeling ill
  • ensuring their proper social distance - remain two meters apart or about the length of a hockey stick
  • use good hygiene practices, such as frequent handwashing
  • if you have symptoms, stay home and call Health Link 811 for instructions, as well as use the COVID-19 Online Assessment Tool
For more information, please visit the Government of Alberta website or Health Canada.

Financial Help

Have you been laid off? Are you self-employed and your work has been impacted by the pandemic? Are you caring for children and have to stay home? CBC News has created this helpful hub guide to answer your questions about benefits that are relevant to you: https://newsinteractives.cbc.ca/coronavirusbenefits/

  • Emergency Funding For University of Alberta Students

This Emergency Funding programs are designed to cover temporary financial shortfalls due to delays in funding (e.g., government student loan is late) or unexpected expenses (e.g., necessary car repairs, emergency dental work). Emergency funding can come in the form of emergency bursaries (non-repayable) or emergency loans (short-term, interest-free loans). To learn more, click here.

  • Free Medicine Delivery Services
  • Free Delivery Programs
    • Bag-Half-Full: Free delivery organized by UAlberta medical students to help support elderly and immunocompromised community. You pay for groceries online, or provide a grocery list (and grocery funds), students will deliver your order. Online form or call 780-952-7101 or 780-297-7800
    • Fly & Fetch: Fetchers willing to pick up and deliver groceries for free or a small fee. Each fetcher has info on their weekly schedule and area in the city they can serve
    • Fresh Routes: If you are in isolation and are unable to get food, Fresh Routes delivers food baskets at no to low cost depending on eligibility. For help, call Steve 403-249-8350
    • Helping Hands delivery program: Free delivery for grocery and personal essentials for seniors and those unable to leave home. Call 587-785-7749
    • Men in Kilts: Free delivery, helping those who cannot leave their home due to increased risks or have no other help available to them. Send requests edmonton@meninkilts.com.

Caregivers Tips

For families and caregivers, the COVID-19 pandemic has made life quite challenging these days. Parents have to juggle the added responsibility of working from home with the demands of childcare and homeschooling their children at the same time. For many families of children on the autism spectrum, this is especially hard, because it means sudden disruptions to their routines that can be difficult to manage.

For a child on the autism spectrum to relax, it is often necessary to introduce new daily routines. Every step of the daily routine should be predictable. We use visual schedules for this purpose.

Learning at Home

A sudden, nationwide shift to homeschooling presents special challenges for autistic learners. Here are a few ways to support their needs: https://www.nationalgeographic.co.uk/science-and-technology/2020/03/teaching-tools-parents-of-autistic-children

New to homeschool? Don’t be too hard on yourself. Allow time to adjust. Here are some more tips for teaching your kids at home. (PDF)

Alberta Education Helpline for Parents During COVID Pandemic: Parents can reach the help line by calling 780-422-6548 (toll-free by dialing 780-310-0000, followed by the 10-digit phone number) or by emailing studentsupport@gov.ab.ca. Additionally, more than 4,000 curriculum resources to support parents and students are available on the LearnAlberta.ca website. School authorities have also made various resources available on their own websites. (NEW)

Caregiver Education & Tools:

Staying Active Ideas

How to keep kids active during the coronavirus lockdown: https://globalnews.ca/news/6799443/coronavirus-keeping-kids-active/ 

Recreational Resources Online:

Free Fitness Resources:

Mental Health Resources

Mental health can be equally as important to take care of in these difficult times.

Safety

Community Supports

211 Alberta - Resources for COVID-19 in Alberta: A provincial directory of community, health, social, and government organizations and services. Contains up-to-date information on services affected by COVID-19.
 

DISCLAIMER: Autism Edmonton does not endorse any service or organization listed on this page. This page is intended only to help families and individuals navigate their options for services.