MISSION, Texas – April is Autism Awareness Month and for many with Autism the COVID-19 pandemic has changed their every day lives.
According to the CDC, one in every 54 American children has autism.
Veronica Garza is mom to three daughters, all whom have Autism.
“The youngest is five, then 14 and 16,” said Garza, who like many have been impacted by the COVID-19 struggles of staying at home, “Having a routine, that’s quite the same is crucial and that’s mostly to relieve them from anxiety.”
One of the issues is not having access to nature, such as the park swings her girls are so used to visiting.
“We’ve been actually horrible, the parks don’t have the swings available as well and the children don’t have access to that and my girls get self stimulation by swinging on the swings,” explained Garza.
Not going to school has also been difficult, not only for the girls, but for parents as well.
“I’m not a teacher, I never got a degree in teaching and it’s difficult to apply the necessary applications,” said Garza.
Her biggest worry is long term affects from the lack of face to face learning.
“Since this came about so unexpectedly and the way it’s impacted their development so badly it’s one of the things I haven’t encountered whatsoever with my children,” said Garza.
With no end in sight yet, Garza says she hopes other parents dealing with similar issues will reach out for help.
“It’s okay to talk to someone else about what you’re going through that can truly and genuinely understand you,” said Garzia, “There are organizations that are willing to go out and want to help through Facebook, Team Mario, Bebo’s Angels and more.”
Texas Health and Human Services has launched a 24/7 state wide mental health support line for all Texans experiencing anxiety, stress and emotional challenges.
The number is 833-986-1919.