Jane shares some tips for adults returning to services as Covid restrictions ease
I know that for some the easing of restrictions has been hard to manage. After all it is a change like any other and whereas many people have felt the relief at getting back to their daily routine this is not the case for other adults.
So many adults with Fragile X will feel heightened anxiety at the easing of restrictions. They may feel under pressure to get back into the activities and the services they were using before the pandemic struck.
It’s a very uncertain time for some and another change to manage.
What can help
It’s important to recognize this from the start and help services to manage the “going back” phase carefully.
Take your time and a slow pace. Follow a gradual reintroduction of activities as needed-don’t overload someone too quickly if they’re not managing.
Use visual cues like pictures or photos-whatever is most meaningful for the person. This backs up verbal instruction and helps with the processing of information. This might feel like going back to basics but that doesn’t matter. Visual cues can help at any time really.
Using sensory feedback at regular intervals during the day can help someone feel “grounded”. People feel out of control sometimes because of sensory processing difficulties. Using tasks such as sweeping, hoovering, moving a wheelbarrow all provide sensory input that helps some one to feel calmer. The gym or exercise generally can also provide this. For more information, please get in touch.
Use a quiet time to discuss any changes to routine.
Acknowledge the emotions someone is feeling and use side dialogues as a tool to help with this rather than asking the person directly. Using language is explained more in the Tracy and Mouse papers from 2013 conference (Tracy Stackhouse and Sarah Scharfenacker at Developmental FX from the USA.) Contact the office for copies.
Get practical support from services and check out any changes - especially staff. Make sure they understand the importance of a consistent approach and staffing. Use our quick guides to help any new staff initially. They can contact the office for more information.
Is the actual transition into the building or from the front door hard for the person to cope with? Would a transition object help or a simple task to complete like posting a letter?
It’s hard but try to stay calm and relaxed at these times. Many adults with Fragile X like to model their behaviour on others and are very intuitive to other’s moods too.
Many adults will be feeling like they have no control again over what’s happening. It’s a horrible feeling. So there will be days when things are not so good, but, hopefully this will pass as routines become more familiar.
These are a few ideas but please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me as well on email@example.com