Lockdown experiences: Children with autism

17th April 2020

Over the next few weeks, we will speaking with children to find out how the national lockdown has affected them. How do they feel being locked up at home for weeks on end, away from friends? What do they miss most? Is there anything about the lockdown they like?

Earlier this week we spoke with siblings Robyn aged 16, Lily aged 14, and Ted aged 10. They each have autism and are being home-schooled by their mum, Mandy.

Ted

Ted had a tricky first week of home schooling but according to mum, Mandy, he’s settling into it. He’s been learning about Henry VIII and his six wives. Mandy tells us Ted’s hands are red raw, from washing them every 20 minutes. 

Ted says:

“We do home-schooling – we don’t see our friends. We have to stay inside.”

“I feel scared about the coronavirus because mummy or daddy might get it.”

“We follow the rules. I don’t like it when other people don’t follow the rules.”

“I’m nervous about the future because of the virus.”

Robyn

Robyn studied hard for her GCSEs but they’ve been cancelled. She’s missing her friends, but technology is helping.

Robyn says:

“It’s quite stressful, I have a pattern but it’s weird to have no system. It’s weird not to sit at my desk in school all day. I miss the normality.”

“I can’t do my GCSEs because they have been cancelled. Our grades are decided by my mocks. We’re told to stress about our GCSEs all year and now they’re saying don’t stress about them.”

“It’s kind of a blessing to not have the stress of the exams, but there’s no goal for the work anymore. If you put work in now it will count for something, that’s what the teacher says.”

“In Year 11 you do exams then spend time with your friends. People said this is the best summer of your life but it isn’t going to happen.”

“I’m worried about going back into sixth form, I won’t know people, but I’m not worried about the future, I am very positive, I trust in scientists. In some ways this is good as it’s showing us we need to be kinder and showing us the flaws in the capitalist system.”

Lily

Lily had only just returned to school after 14 months, she was pleased to be back and was making friends when the lockdown started.

Lily says:

“I was home schooled for 14 months and was happy to go back. Now that’s been taken away.

“Teachers setting so much work, some teachers are good but some aren’t available if we have questions about the work.”

“I miss social interaction, I’m missing my friends.”

“I want there to be a future. Everything is going to be ok if we stay positive. The future is going to be ok, let’s not go crazy over this and do what we’re meant to do.”

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