Mental and Physical Health

Mental Health

Mental Health Support

Do you need to talk to someone immediately? The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has a 24/7 helpline with multilingual crisis support services. Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.

Elemy discusses how you can help your child with ASD understand the COVID 19 virus and how you can help your child if they become anxious or afraid.

NIMH conducted a livestream event on managing stress and anxiety. Krystal Lewis, Ph.D., a licensed clinical psychologist at NIMH, discussed coping techniques on how to maintain your mental health during the pandemic and when to get professional help. 

NIMH created a website providing information on how to support mental health during the coronavirus. Dr. Gordon, the Director of NIMH also participated in a HHS video on mental health and the coronavirus titled “Five Things About Staying Mentally Healthy During the COVID-19 Outbreak.”

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network published a guide for parents/caregivers to help families cope with COVID-19, including tactics to reduce stress and help calm likely anxieties.

Massachusetts General Hospital offers resources for different types of groups including general information, those with specific conditions, families and children, or health care workers.

Mental Health America has information and resources on a wide range of topics including tools for staying connected, webinars, and financial support.

The National Alliance On Mental Illness provides guidance for those in need of mental health care, support or other services.

American Academy of Pediatrics has a collection of articles in English and Spanish for families with children on coping and parenting during the COVID-19 outbreak.


The Autism Science Foundation’s podcast, hosted by ASF CSO Dr. Alycia Halladay, has great tips for handling your child’s crisis-related anxiety. You can listen here.

Mental Health America has created a toolkit for managing anxiety and mental health in a global climate of uncertainty.

MIND Institute Facebook Live presentation  provides useful advice on how to deal with anxiety in autism in situations such as the coronavirus pandemic.

Dr. Jeffrey Wood, clinical child psychologist and Associate Professor, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at UCLA provides CBT based advice for managing you and your child’s anxiety during the coronavirus pandemic.

The National Organization on Rare Disorders hosted a webinar presented by the worlds leading pediatricians focusing on infectious diseases on strategies for coping, staying healthy and reducing anxiety during this uncertain period. It is perfect for patients, caregivers, advocates and the general public. Watch the recorded webinar here.

Physical Health

WHO published a report outlining protective measures and actions that can be taken to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on those with disabilities.

Stony Brook University has designed a COVID-19 Disability Form, per state, for individuals to bring with them to the ER when accompanying a person with IDD. The goal is for the form to be completed proactively prior to seeking medical attention for COVID-19 symptoms at a hospital. Having this form will help to alert ER staff to the preferred communication with the patient with IDD and his/her needs and wishes.

The California State Disability Council has published safety tips developed by people with ASD.  They include how to stay healthy, what to do if I think I am sick, or if I get sick, and what to do if a caregiver gets sick.  You can access all four here.

Hospitalization and ER Visits

Need to go to the ER for a reason related to ASD or a co-occurring condition? Experts and parents collaborated on a list of recommendations based on the current situation.

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Erin Lopes provides guidance on what to do if your family member with autism is diagnosed with coronavirus and hospitalized.


Infectious disease expert Dr. Stanley Plotkin says epilepsy does not increase the risk of contracting the coronavirus, nor does it add additional risk to someone who is diagnosed.

DEE-P Connections, in conjunction with International Foundation for CDKL5 Research-IFCR and Epilepsy Foundation of America, hosted a webinar titled “Protecting Medically Complex and/or Immune-Suppressed Children with Epilepsy from COVID-19.” View the webinar here:

The Epilepsy Foundation hosted a Facebook live with Patty Osborne Shafer, RN, MN, Jacqueline French, MD and Elaine Wirrell, MD. A Facebook live in Spanish aired on Thursday, March 19, at 8 p.m. ET with Angel Hernandez, MD and Joe Sirven, MD who answered questions from their Spanish-speaking community.

CURE hosted a Facebook live stream on COVID-19 with neurologist Dr. Jeffrey Loeb, neuroimmunologist Dr. Michael Carrithers from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and pediatric neurologist Dr. Douglas R. Nordli from UChicago Medicine.

Amy S.F. Lutz, President and Co-founder of EASI Foundation, shares how new COVID-19 policies can harm the most vulnerable.


The MSU Autism Lab hosted a webinar providing an overview on how to parent coach via telehealth. You can watch the recorded webinar here.

Adults with Autism

Scott Badesch, ASF Board Member and Former President, Autism Society of America shares how COVID-19 has changed his thinking about opportunities for people with autism.

The Washington Post published an article on the unprecedented fear parents of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities have during COVID-19.

The Administration for Community Living offered guidance for older adults and people with disabilities, such as information on increased risk, how to prevent illness, and resources from partner agencies.