ASD and Covid 19 – What Caregivers Need to Know

Dec 9, 2022 | Autism, Parenting Tips

ASD and Covid 19 – What Caregivers Need to Know

It’s no secret that COVID-19 caused significant disruptions in the daily lives of youth with ASD and their families, from changes in school routines to quarantines and social isolation. COVID restrictions and mask-wearing requirements were difficult enough for many adults to handle at the height of the pandemic, never mind children and youth with sensory processing problems.

Unfortunately, individuals with ASD who are medically fragile, immune-compromised, or have health conditions such as obesity and hypertension are still at a higher risk of more severe illness and hospitalization if they become infected with COVID. Exposure to outside caregivers or living in a residential facility also increases the risk of infection. However, there is no evidence that autism alone, in children or adults, is a risk factor for complications or severe disease from COVID-19.

While most states have since relaxed their COVID restrictions, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that parents and caregivers get their children vaccinated to get the best protection against serious illness. The CDC recommends vaccinations for everyone aged 6 months and older, and boosters for everyone aged 5 years and older. Even though older adults who are unvaccinated are more likely to experience serious illness if infected, COVID-19 can still make children and teens very sick and sometimes require medical care in a hospital.

The COVID-19 vaccines for children have the same active ingredients as the vaccines given to adults. However, children receive a smaller and more age-appropriate dose. These smaller doses have been rigorously tested and can protect youngsters from short and long-term COVID complications. The vaccine is not made from a live virus, so there is no chance that children can get COVID from the vaccine. Serious side effects are rare, and the CDC notes that the benefits of the vaccine outweigh known and potential risks.

Harsha Autism Center provides ongoing care for children, adolescents, and young adults (ages 2-22) with autism to improve the quality of their lives. If you would like learn more about how Harsha Autism Center can help please contact us at info@harshaautism.com or call (812) 233-8833.

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