OCD and Anxiety
Autism and Anxiety and Mood Disorders
Depression and other Mood Disorders
Trauma Recovery (PTSD)
Why Choose Rogers
In this time of crisis, Rogers Connect Care is here for you. Learn more about our evidence-based treatment in a secure virtual environment. >
Share this article:
Talking about the uncertainties of COVID-19 and adapting to a new schedule can be hard for any child, but when you have a child struggling with a mental health disorder like OCD, anxiety, or depression, and the child is on the autism spectrum, it’s even harder.
Dr. Joshua Nadeau, clinical director at Rogers’ Tampa location, answers some common questions parents are asking to help their children cope.
Dr. Nadeau emphasizes parents should be “honest and balanced” when discussing our new reality with their child. He gives an example of what a conversation could look like that addresses uncertainty, but does not dwell on those feelings: “I don’t know when things are going to go back to normal, or what normal will look like when we get there. Sometimes I feel unsure and even a little scared about that, and I don’t like feeling that way. But I know that even though that feeling will come and go, it isn’t going to hurt me. And what I need to focus on right now is making sure I’m taking care of myself, you, and our family.”
There are a few important points that we should discuss with our children to help them understand the need for new routines, according to Dr. Nadeau:
Dr. Nadeau explains, “Much of the anxiety surrounding change comes from a feeling of losing control or helplessness as the routines we’ve relied on no longer work.”
He shares a few examples of how to respond:
Additional resources that can provide support for you and your child during the COVID-19 pandemic include Autism Speaks and Centers for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD).
“It’s extremely important that you maintain contact with your child’s mental health provider, even if your child seems to be ‘doing fine.’ If the provider is able to continue offering services via telehealth, it’s a good idea to schedule an appointment, even if for just a ‘check in’,” says Dr. Nadeau. “You and your child might even find it easier and less stressful to virtually meet with a provider compared to all steps involved with getting to and from the visit.”
If you don’t currently have a mental health provider for your child, Anxiety and Depression Association of America and International Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Foundation are resources that can help.
Rogers recently launched a new telehealth treatment option through Rogers Connect Care for patients who would benefit from specialized partial hospitalization or intensive outpatient levels of care. Learn more about our telehealth services and request a free, confidential screening, or call 800-767-4411.
“This time right now that we’re all living is like nothing we’ve ever seen,” says Dr. Nadeau. “But what’s most important right now for you and your child is remembering to validate their emotions and involve them as much as possible in discussions surrounding these unprecedented times.”
Have you or a loved one spent time at Rogers? We’d like to hear about your experience with us. Share your story here.