UF CARD Staff Share Their Favorite COVID-19 Resources

several people with face masks on
TOP ROW L-R: Danielle Liso, Ann-Marie Orlando, Art Wallen, Alissa Yax, Greg Valcante BOTTOM ROW L-R: Carole Polefko, Robin Byrd, Kathy Robinson, Megan Thornton, Margie Garlin, John Polefko

Over the next few weeks our staff will be sharing some of their favorite COVID-19 resources.
If you are in need of our services please contact us. New to UF CARD? Please see our registration form.

We kick-off with our Director, Dr. Greg Valcante, who chose a mask song for little ones to sing and dance to:
Wear A Mask Song for Kids | Mask Around Me by Drs. Bop n’ Pop

Our staff is sharing some of their favorite COVID-19 resources. Our Intake Coordinator, Celeste De Jesus-Trieu, chose Sesame Street’s Elmo’s World: COVID and Caring for Each Other video. Check out more free resources from Sesame Street.

Our Associate Director, Art Wallen, chose BrainPOP’s animated video about Coronavirus.

Our Office Manager, Alissa Yax, chose Flocabulary’s rap video, Social Distancing.

Meg Thornton, one of our consultants, chose two…
1. Be Okay App
Age range: All ages, although younger children may need assistance navigating to the most appropriate section.
Target Audience: Individuals needing support in the areas of panic and anxiety
Be Okay is a free app that offers support for individuals experiencing anxiety or panic. I like this app for a few reasons- the biggest being that is super user-friendly ad easy to use. You can: practice deep-breathing exercises; listen to calming sounds; call a trusted friend with the push of a button; import photos that bring you calm and joy; keep records of feelings and thoughts.
2. Coping with COVID-19: Remote Learning for Students with ASD
Age Range: Adults supporting School-age learners
Target Audience: Educators, parents, caregivers
Let’s have an honest moment, for a quick second: Online learning can be challenging for students and teachers. Adding in need for unique and individualized supports throughout the school day can make a digital classroom feel like a mountain standing in the way of learning. This guide, from the Autism Training and Technical Assistance Project, offers support for students and teachers and is loaded with resources throughout the document that can be easily printed. 

Our Public Education Coordinator, Carole Polefko, likes this Symptom Checker Visual Support from Autism Little Learners. Check out their website for more bright, colorful, and FREE resources.

Our Assistant Director, Dr. Danielle Liso, chose this list of Free Resources for Autism and Care Amid COVID-19 Pandemic from Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders (TRIAD). TRIAD is a great resource for all things autism, but this link is especially helpful for those struggling to understand and adjust to expectations around COVID-19. There are resources for both parents an professionals, PDFs as well as videos, and ready-to-use social stories. In addition, the link directs you to a number of helpful live and recorded webinars. Check it out!

Our Visual Supports Coordinator, Kathy Robinson, chose these three…
1. Quick Tip for Autism: Visuals for Virtual Learning by Linda Hodgdon
2. Easterseals serving Chicagoland and Rockford has a free resource to support children with autism through Coronavirus school closures including schedules, token boards, and activities.
3. Do2Learn has free pages with social skills and behavioral regulation activities and guidance, learning songs and games, communication cards, academic material, and transition guides for employment and life skills.

Our staff is sharing some of their favorite COVID-19 resources. Our Associate Director, Dr. Ann-Marie Orlando, chose one that is helpful to individuals of all ages and includes guides for self-advocates…
Social narratives and video modeling are two evidence-based practices that can help to explain and demonstrate expectations for social behavior. HMEA’s Autism Resource Central has a COVID-19 collection of social stories and videos focused on washing hands and wearing masks, plus many others for both children and adults.

Our Parent Partner, Margie Garlin, chose Green Mountain Self-Advocates8-page booklet about the Coronavirus. It is written in plain language and was created by and for people with developmental disabilities. Available in 11 languages!

John Polefko, one of our consultants, chose Wrightslaw‘s Five Rules for Incredibly Successful IEP Meetings During the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Robin Byrd, one of our consultants, chose Educating All Learnerssearch engine that has links to vetted teaching tools for educators who are providing virtual instruction to complex learners.
Read this EdSource article for more information: 

Stay tuned for more!