Leading National Behavioral Healthcare Provider

Call 1-800-345-1292

  • Carl E. Clark II
  • COVID-19
  • PPE for Devereux
  • October Awareness
  • Carl E. Clark II
  • Yolanda Graham
  • Leah Yaw
  • Careers at Devereux

Tweet Share on LinkedIn Send email Print

Helping children and adults with special needs stay engaged (and have fun!) while social distancing

With social distancing measures in place to help stop the spread of COVID-19, parents and caregivers of children, adolescents and adults living with emotional, behavioral and cognitive differences may be feeling the heat this summer, trying to find fun, engaging and educationally enriching activities for their individuals to enjoy. 

Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health National Director of Family Engagement Amy Kelly, MBA, MNM, who is a mother of three children, including one with autism and intellectual and developmental disabilities, shares activities to help youth and adults learn new skills, while staying safe and healthy. 

“This summer is unlike any other, with camps and programs across the country canceled as a result of the pandemic, but that does not mean the fun – or learning – has to stop,” said Kelly. “A little creativity can go a long way in ensuring your child or adult stays active and engaged with projects and games, while continuing to practice social distancing.” 

Activities to promote healthy development

Make this a summer to remember – look below for a few activities you and your family can enjoy while spending time at home. 

  • Take dance breaks: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends scheduling physical activities such as stretching or dancing throughout the day to help your child or adult stay healthy and focused. GoNoodle offers free access to dance-along songs, yoga videos, mindfulness activities and more.
  • Play games: Games such as noodle tag, Simon Says and driveway Chutes and Ladders can increase mobility and mental alertness. Organize a treasure hunt – hide 10 to 20 objects inside and/or outside the house – to help your loved one improve his or her memory and concentration. Don’t forget to create a visual checklist so everyone can keep track of the hidden items.
  • Whip up tasty treats: Plan and cook healthy recipes to teach your child or adult about nutrition. Use visual cookbook recipes to make it easier to understand for those with special needs. You can even plan dinner theme nights such as Italian night or Taco Tuesday. 
  • Get crafty: Substitute craft projects for screen time to improve hand-eye coordination. Help your loved one complete science experiments – make homemade Play-Doh, slime or “elephant toothpaste.”
  • Plant seeds of learning: Start an indoor herb garden or terrarium to teach your child or adult about the growing process.
  • Create backyard adventures: Plan the ultimate “staycation” – turn your backyard into your own personal campground or movie theater. Involve everyone in the planning process. An adventure awaits!
  • Show off your talent: Organize a neighborhood (or virtual) talent show. Each family can show off their musical (think homemade instruments) or creative talents while social distancing.
  • Build a connection: Build a birdhouse or an outdoor fort. Enjoy the time spent together as a family as you plan, construct and play. 

Travel … without leaving home

While visiting familiar destinations like national parks, zoos, museums and theme parks may not be possible this summer, below are a host of live webcams and virtual tours to keep you and your family educated and entertained. 

Access a full list of live webcams and virtual tours you can take without leaving home. 

“COVID-19 does not have to mean the end of summer travel and vacation plans,” explained Kelly. “Live webcams and virtual tours provide an up close and personal view of breathtaking beaches, majestic animals, world-renowned artwork and more. This is a safe and convenient way for you and your family to visit a new and exciting place from the safety and comfort of your own home.”

Learn more about Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health.

 

Latest News

Devereux Center for Effective Schools   Pennsylvania school district selects Devereux Center for Effective Schools to run emotional support classrooms

An urban school district in Pennsylvania recently selected Devereux Center for Effective Schools to run six of its emotional support classrooms to help students with emotional and behavioral challenges learn, grow and thrive.

The Shops   Devereux Pennsylvania supporter donates car to The Shops to help adults with disabilities

When Devereux Pennsylvania supporter Deborah Geffken’s beloved 2007 Volvo broke down - and she was told it needed a new transmission Geffken decided to turn her car into a meaningful contribution to The Shops at Devereux’s Auto Shop, which provides employment and training opportunities for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Danny and Annie   Autism through a different lens - A sibling’s perspective

Read this heartwarming article - featured in Autism Spectrum News - from Devereux National Director of Family Engagement Amy Kelly, MBA, MNM, and her son, Danny, who shares an essay about his personal journey with his sister who has autism. Danny writes, “Annie’s influence spreads into every aspect of my life, and she has given me the inspiration to make an impact in the world around me.”

Susan Damico   DCRC’s Susan Damico to host virtual event on Oct. 15 to help parents build - and model - resilience

Devereux Center for Resilience Children Director Susan Damico will host a virtual event - “Parent Resilience: Being Selfish is Good for You and Your Children” - on Oct. 15. Damico will discuss the importance of practicing self-care, and how making a few positive changes in your life can lead to greater happiness, enjoyment and fulfillment for you - and your family.

Vernon Tanguay   Celebrating Devereux’s Healthcare Heroes: Spotlight on Devereux Pennsylvania - Adult Services RN Healthcare Coordinator Vernon Tanguay

At Devereux, our employees are at the heart of everything we do - and are key to our success. Learn how Devereux Pennsylvania - Adult Services RN Healthcare Coordinator Vernon Tanguay is serving and inspiring others every day.

87,000 face masks   Devereux receives 87,000 face masks, 3-D printed face shields from community supporters

Since Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health put out a call in March for Personal Protective Equipment to help keep the organization’s front-line staff - and the individuals it serves - safe and healthy during COVID-19, families, caregivers and supporters have generously donated 87,000 hand-sewn face masks and 3-D printed face shields.


More Stories