COVID-19 Resources for Families: Help Children Understand COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic is a very challenging time for everyone, especially for families with young children and children with disabilities. With school being closed, disruptions of the family routines, and limited physical activities, children may feel overwhelmed, upset, and stressed. Children also may have a lot of questions.

To help children cope with the changes resulting from COVID-19, families can have a conversation about what is happening, and teach children how to handle this situation. Social stories can be a useful tool for families to help young children navigate this difficult situation. 

On this resources page, we provide a list of social story resources that are focused on COVID-19, followed by a list of resources that can help families teach children how to calm down.

Update: April 27, 2020 

Talk with Children About COVID-19 Using Social Stories

          A scripted story explaning why people are wearing masks now; English; Autism Little Learners

Help Children Cope with Their Emotions During COVID-19 Pandemic

  • Help Children Cope

    A tipsheet with strategies for families to respond to children's emotions and behaviors resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic; English; The National Child Traumatic Stress Network

  • Feeling Face Chart and Template

    An activity that can help children learn about different feelings and facial expressions; [English][Spanish]; National Center for Pyramid Model Innovations (NCPMI)

  • Practice Belly Breathing

    An animated video explaining how to belly breathe; English; PBS KIDS

  • Make a Mindfulness Jar or Calming Timeout Timer

    A mindfulness tool that can help both adults and children relax and calm down; English; PBS KIDS

  • Prioritize Coping and Calming Skills

    A webpage with different strategies and resources related to self-management skills for individuals with autism; English; Autism Focused Intervention Resources & Modules (AFIRM), Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute