“What is the Coronavirus?” – A Social Story™ from The Autism Educator

SourceAmanda McGuinness, The Autism Educator

Amanda McGuinness, creator of the website, The Autism Educator, has created a free coronavirus Social Story™ What is the Coronavirus (PDF)? to help alleviate fears and anxiety many children may be experiencing at this time. Social Stories™ were developed by educator Carol Gray in 1990 and are described as “short descriptions of a particular situation, event or activity, which include specific information about what to expect in that situation and why.” They are an evidence-based social learning tool for people of all ages on the autism spectrum.

McGuinness constructed What is the Coronavirus? in a page-by-page format, so parents can include or exclude whatever information they feel is important to their family. It anticipates the possibility of a child’s school closing due to the coronavirus and includes a countdown box to provide the child with a concrete sense of when school will reopen.

McGuinness left her law career after her first son Conor was born with autism, later retraining as a Special Needs Assistant so she could help him and her youngest son Jack. She has over ten years experience supporting and educating children with autism, their parents and family members. Her award winning family blog draws readers from around the world who are seeking advice, support and educational resources. McGuinness and her family live in County Mayo in Ireland.