Autism Support: Adapting To An Online World

This month's post is going to be a little different to the normal topic based article. Due to the fact that the need for online services and support is growing in response to the Covid-19 climate around the globe Daliland World has adapted to this and is providing online support. This article is going to explain what services we are now offering and why. Daliland had teamed up with teachers and therapists in the field in order to provide a holistic approach from experienced and passionate individuals.

The implementation of quarantines and lock-downs all over the world has made life very different and challenging for us all. We are still trying to process what has actually happened to the life and world we once knew whilst trying to adapt "overnight" to this new Corona minefield of society. Many new obstacles and hurdles have been presented to all of us whether its loosing our everyday liberties, jobs and general way of life, to adapting to the kiddos being at home with schools being closed and so on.

None of it has been easy, non of it has been a walk in the park. We are all going through our own traumas adapting to this new reality that is in front of us. The new adaptions have been hard on everyone and we try to show understanding for those families and parents whose children are on the spectrum. Some children  find it challenging when their schedules are changed or they do not have the freedom to go for a walk when they need to. 

Some may experience discomfort when wearing a mask and they are not "being a Karen" they are actually experiencing psychical pain due to the way their brains are wired and how they process incoming sensory information. Imagine the masks were like physical torture for you and that is the reality some children and adults on the spectrum have to face. The same applies to the smell of the sanitizers. So never-mind all those adaptations mentioned above, what about these new challenges that are arising from the ever growing Corona environment.

Everything is going online and for now there is a need for online support systems and structures. That is why Daliland is also making these adjustments in order to try help people who want it or need it. So before we delve into that I would like to ask you as the audience if you can think of anything that is needed in terms of support or that could help parents and children to please let us know, you can send us your suggestions to info@dalilandtoys.com

Online support groups

Firstly, we are starting a virtual support group for parents, families and adults on the spectrum. The vision we have here is a safe space you can access from your home and talk to other individuals who are going through the same things. A space to bounce experiences off of each other, to support and learn from one another.This social isolation can be very lonely,so we want to create a supportive forum for individuals who may just need someone else to relate to or talk to who can understand what they are going through. 

We are planning on holding two separate virtual groups and the first one will be hosted at the end of July. The date and time will be dependent on how many individuals are interested. So again if you or anyone you know want to join the group please send us a message. We hope to see you there.

Educational programs

Next we are offering parents whose children can not attend school at the moment for whatever reason assistance with the implementation of home programs. Myself and my colleagues have worked in the special needs educational sector for over four years and this is what we did on the daily, the only difference now is the parents, carers or families will be carrying out the program at home due to social distancing. 

These programs are tailored to each child's needs and educational goals. The programs will include an educational plan based on a time frame advised by the family. Daily activities provided based on the learning objectives as well as the child's specific interests to make them attractive and enjoyable for the kiddo! The programs will cover all the developmental areas: cognitive, motor skills (gross, fine and oral), emotional as well as communication. We will offer ongoing resources and support/follow ups whilst the programs are in place.

 

One-on-one or group support sessions

We have a passionate and experienced team of professionals hosting one-on-one and group sessions for parents, families and individuals on the autism spectrum. These virtual sessions are aimed at providing others with a network and access to resources that may be needed during this time. Sometimes people just want  someone to talk to. The world is a daunting and uncertain place at the moment and having that option to talk to a person -whom only wants to help- might provide some comfort. 

Our team do not claim to be psychologists or doctors: they are therapists and teachers who have worked in the special needs educational sector for over four years and come from a genuine place of caring. We do not claim to be experts or know all the answers however we will try to help you the best we can within our capacity, knowledge and experience.

Online workshops

We will be hosing a series of workshops for individuals who are interested in learning and gaining new perspectives or knowledge. We will cover different topics in the field and are open to suggestions as well. If there is something within the context that you would like to attend a workshop on please send us a message. We will be excited to hear what those areas are!

These workshops will also be virtual and are aimed at trying to build this community and network of people who are supporting and helping each other. That is our mission here at Daliland World: to create a supportive and helpful community for one another. We really hope that you will be apart of this growing family. Please send us an email if you are interested and we will send you more information about the topics and dates. We will also be posting on social media, so keep "posted";) for that.

 

The Au'some Fund

For the readers who are not familiar with The Au'some Fund, it was created over a year ago and 5% of all sales in the Daliland online store go to this fund. The fund is aimed at helping families who need financial support or assistance and whose children are on the autism spectrum. During the last few months the fund has embarked on a food parcel initiative in partnership with Autism Western Cape and Kidstart Junior Academy. On the 15th of July the first delivery will be made in the Western Cape, South Africa. 

This will hopefully provide some relief for people who have been really negatively affected by the corona-19 lock-down in South Africa. We will be sending food parcels to 70 families and we are hoping to make this a long term initiative. We have already funded the first month and are trying to raise the funds for August. If you are interested in making a donation or helping with this initiative in any way please contact us or follow the link below:

https://dalilandtoys.com/products/food-parcel?variant=

Thank you for taking the time to read this article and we hope to see you joining our family soon:)


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