(WSNN)- Adjusting to the changing times can be a challenge for us all, but as the administrative director for the autism program at John Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, Lauren Gardner explains, navigating these new norms can be especially challenging for children with autism.

“Everything that we have been doing before has been thrown on its head and so they're having to adjust pretty quickly to some pretty drastic changes," she said.

Gardner says these changes in routines can cause extra anxiety in a child with ASD,  and recommends keeping an open conversation.

“For individuals with autism we have what we call social stories or social narratives; so there’s a lot of nice ways that we can use those to explain to different levels of functioning of individuals with autism what the current expectations are, what coronavirus is, and how it’s going to impact their lives," she said.

While we can all benefit from a structured schedule, Gardner explains some individuals on the spectrum can thrive with routines during this time.

“Keeping the same bedtime and same time to wake up," she said. "The same requirements around using screen time, so we shouldn't be allowing a lot more screen time, we should be consistent with those expectations. Putting things in place like a visual schedule at home for what the new routine is, because there may be some receptive communication delays, it helps them to have a visual of ‘What can I expect? What's happening now? What’s my day going to look like?”

Fore more information or insight to increase your child’s understanding and positive coping during this time, you can click here.

For additional support visit autismspeaks.org