March 23, 2020
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COVID-19 Special Edition

Due to the spread of the COVID-19, now is clearly a time of huge change and uncertainty. We know that individuals and families living with Autism Spectrum Disorder are hit particularly hard by the closing of schools and day programs, and the suspension of therapies that involve close contact.

The STAR team is committed to partnering with you in finding solutions for the needs of people with autism and their families. We are launching our first virtual live event on Thursday, March 26, "Managing Behaviors at Home" with Rose Nevill, PhD, BCBA, Research Assistant Professor of Education and Director of the UVA Autism Research Core. Join us for a brief presentation followed by an opportunity for Q & A with real time advice for parents and caregivers.

Visit STAR FACEBOOK to find resources including COVID-19 Social Stories, Toolkits, and other educational information.

Please reach out to the STAR Family Navigation Team for assistance in accessing resources or the STAR Research Core for information about research studies.

The STAR Team
FREE Virtual Live Event
Plan to attend

"Managing Behavior at Home"
Rose Nevill, PhD, BCBA

This interactive webinar will provide some quick tips and tricks for managing challenging behavior while at home with your family member on the spectrum. It will be followed by a discussion that will provide the opportunity for you to ask questions, connect with other parents, and share your ideas.

Thursday, March 26
3:00 to 3:45 PM

Link to Zoom Conferencing:

Registration is encouraged but not required.
After you register, you will receive a reminder and can download an appointment for your calendar.

Rose Nevill, PhD, BCBA is the Research Assistant Professor of Education and Director of the UVA Autism Research Core. Rose is interested in applied research with individuals with autism spectrum disorder across the lifespan.  Read more about Rose.
Rose's Quick Tips for Building Routines
  • Build a visual schedule: For younger learners or learners with greater communication difficulties, help establish new routines using pictures or objects to represent different parts of the day; for example, blocks for playtime, a sandwich for lunchtime, a computer for online learning time.

  • Create a two column checklist: Create a “To do” and “Done” side of your child’s schedule – once tasks are finished, your child can get satisfaction from moving items over to finished side. Build in incentives in a simple way, like offering a sticker or a snack after a certain amount of things are complete.

  • Make a menu: To help give your child ownership over her day, create a set “menu” of options – once an item is used off of the list, it is no longer available. This can be especially helpful with meal planning!

  • Time screen time wisely: Reserve screen time for parts of the day you need to yourself (for exercise, work meetings, and personal tasks). Limit screen time in the evenings to maximize the quality of your child’s sleep.

  • Play red light/green light: To help your child avoid interrupting your work, use a signal that he is likely to notice that shows when interruptions are not allowed – for example, wear a brightly colored hat or hang a sign off of your desk. Explain the rule to your child regularly (“Remember, I’m not available when the hat is on!”) and reward him for “following the rules” every few hours or once a day.
COVID-19 Resources
Here are a few helpful resources:

  • Little Puddins, The Autism Educator, has created a COVID-19 social story to help children understand more about what is happening in the world today. It can be found here.

  • Autism Focused Intervention and Research Modules' 7 support strategies are designed to meet the unique needs of individuals with autism during this period of uncertainty. The strategies and their COVID-19 toolkit can be found here.

  • We are Teachers has created a list of over 130 resources to help parents continue to support their child's learning, including sites to support individuals with special education needs. Their list can be found here.
The STAR Facebook page include these and other resources to use while you and your family are at home due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Research Study Status
For health and safety reasons, there have been changes to all currently enrolling research studies. Click here to find the status of research studies on Autism DRIVE.
About STAR
The mission of the UVA Supporting Transformative Autism Research (STAR) initiative is to improve the lives of individuals with autism and their families through research, education, and outreach. STAR brings together researchers, community partners, individuals with autism and their families to leverage strengths and address challenges. Our ultimate goal is to empower individuals with autism, their families and their communities to achieve positive outcomes and quality of life.

Register for the Autism DRIVE online resources directory
University of Virginia
Curry School of Education and Human Development
417 Emmet Street, South
Charlottesville, VA 22904