Pandemic affecting autism services

The pandemic has affected how many families received therapy and vital services

Posted: Apr 6, 2021 12:35 AM
Updated: Apr 6, 2021 7:24 AM

CLEAR LAKE, Iowa - It's something that a growing number of children and adults live with daily - autism.

According to the CDC, about 1 in 54 children in the U.S. are diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. About 1 in 34 boys are diagnosed with autism; for girls, it's 1 in 144.

For those that utilize services at One Vision's Children's Autism Center, clinic director Laura Korth says 2020 shook things up. For several months, their doors were closed, and service transitioned to tele-health.

"We were able to still see our families, work with our kids. The sessions were typically shorter than what we have here. As you can imagine, having a 3-year old in front of a screen for more than 30 minutes is pushing it."

In June, the center reopened at limited capacity, with one child per session time and one therapist per day, with a rotating schedule to limit contact. When the new school year rolled around, the center went back to a more full-time schedule.

With the sudden changes in routines, and missing out on key face to face social interactions, Korth says the changes may pose a challenge for those with autism.

"Unfortunately, during that time we were closed, a lot of our kids didn't see anybody. They were only seeing their family members, and it's difficult to work on those social skills when you aren't around other people."

Now with routines being adjusted yet again, Korth advises parents to set some sort of consistent schedule, as many on the autism spectrum feel safer and at ease when routines are consistent.

"Some of our families use picture schedules throughout the day to outline what's going to be happening throughout the day. That way the child isn't set off if something isn't the same as it usually is."

This week, the center's social skills groups will start up again, starting with those ages 5 to 9. Conversation skills and eye contact will be discussed.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 690391

Reported Deaths: 8104
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1417751856
Ramsey59044950
Dakota52670498
Anoka48579482
Washington30969309
Stearns25163241
St. Louis20636336
Scott19872145
Wright18754163
Olmsted16057111
Sherburne13701104
Carver1224752
Clay926795
Rice9192121
Blue Earth881947
Crow Wing7905102
Kandiyohi749389
Chisago722958
Otter Tail678794
Benton6567101
Mower569138
Winona561352
Goodhue556680
Douglas541684
Itasca526471
Beltrami516972
McLeod512064
Steele510721
Isanti495670
Morrison472463
Nobles452950
Becker443759
Polk438675
Freeborn433838
Lyon398754
Carlton394459
Nicollet384047
Pine378426
Mille Lacs359360
Brown353044
Cass350635
Le Sueur344729
Todd327334
Meeker310249
Waseca294525
Martin267933
Wabasha24654
Dodge24575
Hubbard236141
Roseau234824
Houston206816
Redwood203542
Renville202448
Fillmore200210
Pennington193022
Wadena188926
Faribault182225
Sibley178410
Cottonwood178324
Chippewa172639
Kanabec166729
Aitkin156838
Watonwan156511
Rock140719
Jackson135112
Pope13468
Yellow Medicine126620
Pipestone125326
Koochiching121919
Stevens121511
Swift118819
Murray116010
Marshall105318
Clearwater104818
Lake92821
Wilkin90214
Lac qui Parle86824
Mahnomen7059
Big Stone6964
Grant6958
Norman6699
Lincoln6554
Kittson53522
Unassigned51793
Red Lake4927
Traverse4315
Lake of the Woods4114
Cook2150

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 435755

Reported Deaths: 6339
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk67341672
Linn25698353
Scott22828261
Black Hawk19121334
Woodbury16940233
Johnson1659690
Dubuque14547218
Pottawattamie13058183
Dallas12746102
Story1187148
Unassigned93740
Warren685993
Webster6304102
Cerro Gordo6212102
Clinton620097
Des Moines594482
Muscatine5781108
Marshall564280
Sioux542775
Jasper516575
Lee511078
Wapello4993128
Buena Vista472942
Marion449083
Plymouth434083
Henry339940
Jones331158
Bremer325365
Crawford321644
Carroll317053
Washington315754
Benton312656
Boone308736
Mahaska275453
Dickinson270846
Kossuth251471
Jackson246044
Clay245729
Tama238273
Delaware234643
Buchanan233938
Hardin230847
Page221624
Cedar220525
Fayette220345
Wright217641
Winneshiek215937
Hamilton211752
Harrison198875
Clayton194458
Madison193820
Butler188836
Floyd187742
Mills185224
Poweshiek181036
Cherokee179440
Iowa176425
Allamakee176252
Lyon174441
Jefferson169138
Calhoun168313
Hancock167335
Winnebago164231
Grundy158835
Cass155556
Louisa154949
Shelby151739
Appanoose151249
Emmet149541
Franklin148524
Humboldt147226
Sac144722
Union144237
Mitchell141643
Guthrie138132
Chickasaw137518
Palo Alto131124
Clarke125024
Montgomery122239
Keokuk116232
Howard115622
Monroe114033
Ida107538
Davis103125
Pocahontas99023
Greene98012
Adair95334
Monona94733
Lucas94523
Worth9268
Osceola83717
Decatur74510
Fremont74111
Taylor72412
Van Buren70919
Wayne65123
Ringgold62226
Audubon58414
Adams3914
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