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: August 11, 2021
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Update: Autism Edmonton Programming and COVID-19 Safety Measures
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. Given the current public health restrictions, Autism
- Edmonton's programs are affected in the following way:
- Our office is closed to walk-in visitors. We are still available to answer your questions and connect by phone or email. Our hours of operation are Monday through Thursday, 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM. For support services, please call 780-453-3971 ext. 1. Our full
directory can be found at www.autismedmonton.org/contact.
- Occasio is currently running in-person activities with some restrictions. If you are interested in these, please register through the system. You can register right up to an hour before the events.
- Peer support groups and the League are currently delivered virtually.
- Our Food Pantry Program is still open. Given that COVID-19 cases are rising, our Pantry Food Program is going back to curbside pickup to help keep our community safe. As of September 7, 2021, the new hours for the Pantry pick ups are as follows: Wednesdays - 12 PM-5 PM and Thursdays - 9:30 AM-5 PM. Appointments are required - please call us at 780-453-3971 ext. 1 to place your order and schedule a pick-up time.
- Advocacy Toolkit for Parents and Caregivers - Back to School During COVID
- Eleanor Brownn
- Self Care for Kids (download here)
- Self Care for Adults (download here)
- Self Care for Adults with Kids (download here)
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
- Social stories to help you learn about and explain COVID-19:
- What is the Coronavirus? - Social Story
- Coronavirus: Why do I have to stay at home? - Social Story
- I Miss My Friends at School - Social Story
- We Wear Masks - Social Story
- Social Distancing - Social Story
- My Day at Home Visual Support - Social Story
- Importance of Washing Hands - Social Story
- COVID-19 Information by and for People with Disabilities (plain language by Green Mountain Self-Advocates)
Low-stimulation vaccination sites are important for our community, and we appreciate the Alberta Health Services' support in creating options for people who need a quieter environment."Sensory processing challenges might lead to decreased participation in the vaccine rollout and so ensuring that people have access to plenty of appointment times and the ability to access clinics where they can manage to get the vaccine with as little discomfort as possible would be certainly a benefit to the entire program," said Melinda Noyes, executive director of Autism Edmonton.A low-stimulus clinic for the Edmonton region is located in Spruce Grove. Please call 811 to book an appointment. (NEW)
- Alberta's government launched a new Temporary Rent Assistance Benefit for eligible Albertans on May 1. (NEW)
- Financial help for Canadians affected by COVID-19
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/
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
- What to Do When Your Child on the Autism Spectrum’s Routine Is Disrupted by the Coronavirus? https://themighty.com/2020/03/covid-19-autism-routine-disruption/
New Visitor Guidance from AHS: One visitor at a time will be allowed for patients with specific challenges such as mobility, hearing, visual speech-language or memory impairment or patients with developmental disabilities requiring the presence of the visitor for care and/or support. This may be a Disability Support Worker or other caregiver.
Caregiver COVID-19 Resources
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 email@example.com. 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:
- 6 free online speech therapy resources for kids
- Cool Math
- Open Culture: Free educational resources for K-12
- OST Collaborative: Resources that will be useful for families during this period of social isolation
- WWEST Science/Engineering Resources (SFU): Student/Teacher/Parent resources & publications
- Free Audio Books
Recreational Resources Online:
- Sensory Activities at Home
- Quarantine Games: List of games (free and paid) you can play online
- Kids at Home: Your one-stop shop where you can see upcoming online events, weekly classes and fields trips, and more, to help you through this difficult time
- GoNoodle.com: A fun activity to keep children active for those who like music and dancing, and have the skill of gross motor imitation; the website has fun goofy songs paired with actions to follow along with and children can to do it in their living room
- Metro Cinema Virtual Screenings: Now offering free screenings of their films online
- Virtual Museum Tours
- National Film Board of Canada - Films on this site can be streamed free of charge, or downloaded for your personal use for a small fee
- Backyard activities against cabin fever during coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak
- Telus World of Science: DIY science experiments you can try using household items
Free Fitness Resources:
- Blogilates has created a 14 day quarantine workout plan. She also has tons of free workout videos on YouTube.
- Free Footie Soccer Society (YEG): Offering free Facebook live videos around sports/wellness to improve skills
- Nike Training App
- Peloton Home Fitness App: 3 month free trial- cycling, meditation, yoga, and workouts
- Supporting the mental health of autistic individuals during covid-19 times
- 50 Ways to Stay Mentally Healthy While Social Distancing: Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA)
- Free Mental Health Resources: Dropbox link with over 200 free resources (books, worksheets, workbooks, guides) to help others cope with anxiety/fear, addiction, depression, suicidal idealization and stress
- Help4Me: Youth Addiction and Mental Health Resources from My Health Alberta
- CASA Centre Webinars: The Impact of Pandemic on Mental Health
- Text4hope: This is a free program through Alberta Health Services that provides daily texts with resources and tools to support building coping skills during COVID 19
- HeadsUpGuys: This website is a great resource for guys looking for information and practical ways to manage depression and stress. Includes up-to-date posts and lots of good ideas on how to stay well
- A Mindful Mess: This resource offers free 30-minute mindfulness sessions on Zoom
- Watch an autism-specific Q&A facilitated by mental health clinicians on anxiety and COVID-19
- Why is everyone worried about the coronavirus? (NEW)
- The Big Red Safety Box - https://nationalautismassociation.org/big-red-safety-box/
- Awaare - http://awaare.nationalautismassociation.org/
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.