Ruptured Routines: Social Distancing and Kids with Autism
Indian-American UNLV School of Medicine Physician, Dr. Rooman Ahad offers tips and resources for parents of children with ASD.
Many parents of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) carefully craft their child’s schedule to smooth out transitions and give them plenty of physical activity so they can thrive in school.
But the limited social interactions and upended schedules that are defining COVID-19 quarantines have disrupted those strategies, according to Dr. Rooman Ahad, a pediatric neurologist at the UNLV School of Medicine.
“Parents of autistic children are generally prepared. They come with the right snacks; they are prepared for meltdowns and changes,” Ahad said. “[But] I don’t think anybody was prepared for this. That was the biggest challenge. Everything happened so fast.”
Ahad is the division head of the pediatric neurology department and the only board-certified neurologist in Nevada with training in the field of autism.
On her telehealth calls, parents ask for advice to help their kids adjust to the sudden absence of their favorite classmates and usual routines. What activities would help keep kids occupied? Why have their sleep patterns changed? Why is it hard for kids to get motivated to learn on the computer or tablet?
Dr. Ahad is a graduate of the University of Illinois. Dr. Ahad completed her residency in Child Neurology at the John Hopkins University, followed by the Fellowship in Neurology from Kennedy Krieger Institute, Baltimore, Maryland.
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