The National Fragile X Foundation has created a social story — What is COVID-19 and ​What Does It Mean to Me? — to reflect the changing requirements that governments are enacting. There’s a lot of information — and misinformation — about COVID-19 out there, but there’s no doubt it’s impacted families in many, many ways. While we can’t address everything going on in your life, we hope this can help in some small way.

We’ve provided this new social story in several formats:

What are Social Stories?

First used for children with autism, social stories are mainly used to explain a social situation to a child, teen, or adult experiencing social challenges. They usually have trouble with the concept of social cues, so an example may be a story about visiting a neighbor and might cover things like ringing the doorbell (once, not repeatedly until someone answers) or when to enter the home (only after being invited).

Social stories are usually written specifically for one person and personalized based on their challenges. They’re not intended to change behavior, instead the goal is to clarify social situations or explain something new while hopefully also encouraging self-management through self-awareness and self-calming. They’re used most often to help children deal with change, new routines, transitions, unique situations (like COVID-19), and understanding other people’s point of view.

Pictures are optional, but having the child help with the pictures can be a super fun activity, and help make the situation you’re trying to address more fun for everyone.

Social Story Resources

Social Stories for Kids With Autism – The Ultimate Guide Autism Parenting Magazine

Templates for Personalized Teaching Stories Autism Speaks

Social Stories

What is COVID-19 and What Does It Mean to Me?

The NFXF has updated their social story to reflect the changing requirements that governments are enacting.

What is COVID-19?

It is a new illness spreading around the world.

A nurse wearing a face mask and holding her hand up in a STOP gesture. And the earth showing a virus reaching various countries.

It is a virus that can get into your body.

A virus is a germ that can make you feel sick.

It is also called coronavirus.

Sick man laying on a couch holding a thermometer

How does someone get it?

When someone has COVID-19 and they cough or sneeze, their germs get in the air, and you can breathe it.

Man coughing.

Or it can get on your hands and when you touch your face, it gets in your mouth, nose and your eyes.

Four young men touching their faces

How can I keep from getting it?

Wash your hands after going to the bathroom or being outside.

Wash for 20 seconds, sing the ABC song.

Use hand sanitizer.

Young boy washing his hands while his mother looks on. A soap pump.

If you cough or sneeze, use a tissue and then throw it away.

You can also cough and sneeze into your elbow

You can wear a mask.

A boy sneezing or coughing into his elbow, a man wearing a cloth mask.

What else can I do to stay healthy?

Go outside and get exercise, but you should not be with your friends right now.

Two boys riding their bike, and one boy balancing on a balance ball.

What else can I do?

Eat healthy foods, get plenty of sleep.

Group of healthy fruits and vegetables, and a boy sleeping on a couch with a blanket over him.

Take regular showers or baths to keep your whole body clean.

A cat in a bathtub taking a shower.

You can watch some television, but do not watch too much news.

Two boys at two different tables watching TV.

Help your parents around the house.

A family putting dishes in a dishwasher, and helping fix dinner.

If I go outside, can I say hi to people who are not in my family?

Stay at least 6 feet from people — Stay across the street from people.

No hugs, no high fives, no knuckles, no touching.

A boy wearing a face mask standing 6 feet from a girl coughing.

How can I say “hi” to people?

You can wave to people, shake your head, do pretend high fives.

An older man waving at his neighbor outdoors on his porch.

Where can I go?

Stay home as much as you can. You should not go anywhere.

You can play or hang out in your yard.

You can go for walks with your family but stay away from people.

A teenage boy sitting on a swinging settee on his porch, waving.

How will we get food?

Your parents can go to the store.

They can order it and pick it up.

They can go through drive-thru.

They may have it delivered.

A grocery store

How will I know if I get COVID-19?

You will start not feeling well.

You might get a fever or have a cough.

A young boy in bed with a thermometer in his mouth, and his mother sitting beside him with her hand on his forehead.

When should I call the doctor?

A fever of 100.4º or higher.

Coughing.

Hard time breathing.

Your parent will call the doctor before you go to their office.

Do what your doctor says.

A female doctor on the phone and a man wearing a face mask on a phone.

How do they treat the condition?

Drink plenty of water and get plenty of rest.

Right now, you can use over-the-counter medicines.

There is not currently a specific treatment or vaccine.

A bottle of water, a water glass, and a gorgeous blue sky.

What do I do if they cancel my school or my day program or my work?

Your parents or providers will set up a new schedule and routine for you.

They will work with your teachers and providers to help with this.

A man looking down to his left and his reflection in a mirror.

How can I stay in touch with friends and other family?

It is important that you do stay in touch with other people!

Phone, text, Facetime, Facebook, email.

Send a letter or a postcard.😉

A man on a phone, and a laptop screen with several people on a video call.

What can I do to make other people happy?

Put a drawing in your window. You can do an X or a rainbow or a heart!

Sit on your front porch and say “hi” to people who walk by.

When your mail carrier comes, say “Thank you!”

Fragile X logo X in a door window.

Find your happy place at home!

Jayne Dixon Weber in a lawn chair in her backyard, taking in the sunshine.

We recognize that there is a lot of information (and misinformation) about COVID-19 out there, and that this virus has impacted families in many, many ways.

While we know we cannot address everything going on in your life, we hope that this information makes today a bit better.

MORE COVID-19 RESOURCES

COVID-19 Check-In: Month 5

What can we do to take care of ourselves and to help others? A mother takes a step back to imagine what life during a pandemic looks like through the eyes of her son, who has Fragile X syndrome.

Getting Comfortable Wearing a Mask

Real-life tips from a mom, Jayne Dixon Weber, who’s already going through this with her own son, plus a a quick video from Rebecca Shaffer to guide you through the process of getting your child comfortable wearing a mask.

Female Power to Fight COVID-19 with Marcia Braden

Females living with Fragile X syndrome were asked to give advice to other females living with FXS on how to cope with this — or any future — crisis. Listen as Marcia talks through their advice and her own advice, built on decades of working with patients with Fragile X syndrome.

A COVID-19 Social Story from NFXF

The National Fragile X Foundation has created a social story to reflect the changing requirements that governments are enacting. There’s a lot of information — and misinformation — about COVID-19 out there, but there’s no doubt it’s impacted families in many, many ways.

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