Managing Children with Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities During Lockdown

Managing Children with Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities During Lockdown

Due to corona pandemic, children with Autism and other special needs have been confined to their houses.Lack of engagement in regular activities can have an effect on children’s functioning and can lead to increase in behaviour problems. To keep this in view, the following guidelines has been prepared, which can be practiced at home:

  • Do not change the normal sleeping pattern.
  • Don’t make the child sleep for longer hours than needed.
  • Delegate the responsibilities of childcare among all family members
  • Contact the professionals through mobiles/online and ask them to give information about home based program.
  • Make a daily time table which should be predictable. Inform the child in advance about transitions of activities.
  • Put up the time table in a visual format.
  • Make a list of activities of daily living like Toilet, Brushing, Bathing, Dressing, Eating, etc.
  • Try to teach & implement it
  • Make small goals
  • Gradually increase your child’s independence in daily activities.
  • Prioritize the activities which are most important at present and start working on them.
  • Give free play in between.
  • Do not try to impose your activities all the time.
  • The interval of free play varies for every child.
  • Engage the child in household activities as per his/her abilities. E.g. sorting vegetables, folding cloths,etc.
  • Keep the child’s screen time to the minimum.
  • Use physically demanding purposeful activities like crawling, jumping, stair climbing,etc.
  • Incorporate turn taking activities like board games, carom,etc.
  • Choose activities taking into account the child’s interest.
  • Respect your child’s emotions.
  • Work on the Social skills of identifying others, giving specific item to specific people, etc.
  • Promote the hobbies of the child like watering plants, craft works,etc.
  • Sanitise or clean any material before giving it to the child
  • Teach the child to clean his/her hand frequently with hand wash/soap
  • Prepare new schedule for the child and inform it by written or pictorial presentation.
  • Give immediate reward like praise, some tokens,etc. by seeing some desirable behaviour performed by the child
  • Do not panic & avoid excessive stress
  • Do not also take the effect of covid-19 lightly
  • Limit screen time.
  • Do not pay attention to any kind of rumours
  • Lastly, keep yourself stress free and use this time to strengthen your family bonds.

All activities should be conducted using the guidelines given to prevent the spread of COVID – 19. With appropriate measures, the effective management of children with developmental disabilities is possible at home.

For more information, Kindly contact: Durga Prasad Mishra, MOT(Developmental Disability), FAOT-NDD,PGDND, MAPC(Clinical Psychology) Consultant, SVNIRTAR,Cuttack e-mail:

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