All Autism Society of NC offices and programs are closed to comply with state directives regarding COVID-19. See our COVID-19 page for updates and resources. To reach staff, who are working remotely, please email or call 800-442-2762.

Coronavirus Disease 2019

Coronavirus Disease 2019

 

*** This page will be updated regularly. Please check back. ***

All ASNC offices and programs are closed to comply with local and state directives regarding COVID-19. Employees are working remotely and can be reached via phone and email during normal business hours. For more information, or to reach staff, please call 800-442-2762. 

The Autism Society of North Carolina is monitoring the evolving situation of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). We have created this page to provide information and resources for you and your family. ASNC is continuously tracking information from local, state, and national public health authorities.

Para recursos en español sobre el coronavirus, haga clic aquí.

 

NC Coronavirus Helpline provides education about the virus and guidance on what to do if coronavirus is suspected (open 24 hours, seven days a week): 866-462-3821 or text VIRUS to 336-379-5775

COVID-19 Triage Plus Helpline answers COVID-19 questions and helps find necessary care regardless of insurance coverage or lack of coverage (open 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., seven days a week): 877-490-6642

Hope4NC Helpline 24/7 connects callers to mental health and resilience supports: 855-587-3463

3/26/2020 Update on Office, Programs, and Complaint Process

Office hours – Effective March 26, all ASNC offices will be closed indefinitely to comply with local and state directives regarding COVID-19. Employees are working remotely and can be reached via phone and email during normal business hours. For more information or to reach staff, please call 800-442-2762. 

Effective March 25, ASNC facility based programs are closed and services will be provided in the home or community, based on consultation between families and staff. Residential programs continue to operate normally, but no visitors are allowed.

Complaint process – At this time, we are suspending our normal response and resolution timelines for all formal complaints except for complaints pertaining to the health or safety of an individual we serve. Thank you for your patience, and we look forward to resuming our regular process as soon as we are able.

Thank you for your understanding and support. Our mission is to ensure the health of you and your loved ones.

3/20/2020 Update on Services and Events

The Autism Society of North Carolina is in the process of contacting all families and clients about their services. If we are able to safely provide supports and have available staff, we will be in touch with you to arrange those services.

As always, our top priority is the health and safety of those we serve and support as well as that of our staff. As we all work to combat the spread of coronavirus and COVID-19, the Autism Society of North Carolina encourages everyone to follow the recommendations of our governor, NC DHHS, and the CDC. Wash your hands, practice social distancing, and avoid gatherings of 50 or more people.

To help in this effort, ASNC has canceled events through the end of April. The Surry County Walk for Autism, and Wilmington, Greenville, and Cabarrus County Run/Walk for Autism events are now virtual-only events. We hope you will still take the opportunity to celebrate your loved ones with autism on the day of the event near you. For more information, go to www.runwalkforautism.com.

Thank you for your understanding and support. Our mission is to ensure the health of you and your loved ones.

3/15/2020 Update on Afterschool Programs, Day Programs, and Community-Based Supports

This weekend, the governor of NC and secretary of DHHS issued an executive order to avoid congregate settings with over 100 people and to work on social distancing (spacing at least 6 feet apart) to decrease the spread of coronavirus.

In a decision we do not take lightly, we have decided to CLOSE our day and afterschool programs Monday, March 16, through at least Wednesday, March 18, as we assess and implement measures to continue service delivery in a manner that puts individual and community health at the forefront. During this time, will be implementing additional cleaning, trainings, and structure in our program facilities.

At this time, we DO plan to CONTINUE services that are based in homes and in community or employment settings where social distancing can safely occur. As always, our top priority is the health and safety of those we serve and support as well as that of our staff.

Please know this is a rapidly evolving situation and things may change day to day. We realize that our decision to close programs presents various hardships, but we need to look to the greater need of overall safety. We know this is an uncertain time. We must all work together to maintain a healthy North Carolina.

Thank you for your understanding and support. Our mission is to ensure the health of you and your loved ones.

3/12/2020 Update on Services and Events

The Autism Society of North Carolina is continuously tracking information on coronavirus and COVID-19 from local, state, and national public health authorities including NC DHHS.

 

Programs currently still operating

At this time, our programs and services remain fully operational. We acknowledge that this can change at any point. We anticipate direct support staff availability may impact our ability to provide services. Decisions regarding services will be made on a case-by-case basis. 

All of our staff have been educated on measures to protect the health of you and your loved ones. As always, our top priority is the safety of those we serve and support as well as that of our staff.  

To read more details on the precautions we are taking, please see other sections of this page.

 

Events postponed and canceled

To ensure your safety and the safety of the people we serve, we have made difficult decisions to cancel or postpone ASNC events through April 15. The following events have been affected:

  • Annual conference March 27-28 in Charlotte (CANCELED)
  • World Autism Awareness and Acceptance Day celebration on April 4 at Camp Royall (CANCELED)
  • ASNC sponsored in-person workshops and trainings through April 15 (We are working to determine appropriate options for rescheduling workshops and trainings or offering them in other ways, such as online.)

 

No visitors to offices

Out of an abundance of caution, any non-essential visitors, vendors, or stakeholders are not permitted to enter Autism Society of North Carolina offices or program facilities. This includes siblings, children, and family members that are not involved in direct programming.

 

Keeping you updated

We will continue to keep you updated by email, social media, and on our website. If you have questions about the measures we are taking to ensure the safety of the people we serve, please see the other sections of this COVID-19 webpage.

The page also includes information on staying healthy, including a social narrative about germs, a visual support for handwashing, and links to recommended resources.

 

Thank you for your understanding and support. Our mission is to ensure the health of you and your loved ones.

3/6/2020 Guidance Regarding the Delivery of Services

With news about the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), we wanted to reach out with information and resources. The Autism Society of North Carolina is closely monitoring this rapidly evolving situation. As always, our top priority is the health and safety of those we serve and support as well as that of our staff.    

ASNC has been preparing for the possible impact of COVID-19, working with and following guidance from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We have developed guidance regarding service delivery in order to answer questions and concerns you may have and to ensure that we are working together to take precautions to prevent any spread of illness. 

The following precautions are being taken in every office and program throughout our organization: 

  • Education of all staff members on the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and respiratory illnesses 
  • Adherence by all staff to standard practices to prevent spread of illness  
  • Frequent and ongoing sanitation of common surfaces within offices and program settings by assigned personnel 
  • Direction to all staff to disclose any signs of illness in themselves, family members, or close contacts to Directors prior to working  
  • Direction to staff to disclose travel by themselves or close contacts (family member, roommate) to an area where an outbreak has occurred 
  • Directing staff who are symptomatic (or who have been in contact with someone who is symptomatic) to remain at home and seek medical attention if needed 
  • Prevention of sharing of items within office and program settings 
  • Frequent reminders and opportunities for handwashing and increased access to hand sanitizer 
  • Immediate response to any individual who shows signs of illness 

 

The following guidelines have been shared with participants and families: 

  • We urge all families and participants to follow these steps, recommended by health experts, to help prevent the spread of all respiratory illnesses. 
  • Remain at home/cancel services if you, your child, or any close contact is exhibiting symptoms of respiratory illness or has had a fever within the past 24 hours 
  • Notify your local director of any travel by you, your child, or a close contact to an affected area prior to attending a program/receiving services 
  • Understand that if staff are unavailable due to following standard precautions, this is intended to maintain your health and safety and that of your loved ones. 

For additional information and up to date resources pertaining to the coronavirus (COVID-19), please see the dedicated pages on our website, or contact your local director. 

Autism-Specific Resources

New webinars!

Setting the stage for success:

Engaging and instructing your child:

Addressing challenging behavior:

Social narratives:

Handwashing Steps from the CDC

COVID-19 Information by and for People with Disabilities

Medical summary form for individuals with autism who may have COVID

UNC-CH toolkit: “Supporting Individuals with Autism through Uncertain Times”

Also, see our blog post “Staying Structured and Engaged in this Challenging Time” for more on visual schedules and activity ideas.

 

Education Updates and Resources

Information from the Exceptional Children Division, NC DPI

EC Processes: Points for Consideration During School Closure from NC DPI

US Dept. of Education: Q&A on providing services to children with disabilities

Accessing Special Education during COVID-19 fact sheet from DRNC

State Board of Education: FAQs on grading and promotion

Tips sheet for virtual IEP meetings

Variety of education resources from Legal Aid NC

Also, see our blog post “Addressing School Concerns During COVID-19” for tips and strategies.

 

Food, Housing, and Employment Assistance

Social services: Dial 211 for information about and referrals to social services such as food, clothing, shelters, housing, utility assistance, mental health and health resources, employment supports, family support, and more

Meals for children: Families who need help finding meals for their children ages 18 and younger can text FOODNC to 877-877 to locate nearby free meal sites. The texting service is also available in Spanish by texting COMIDA to 877-877.

No Kid Hungry NC list of food distribution sites during school closures

Find your local food bank

Unemployment Insurance information and FAQs

WellCare: Coronavirus Resource Guide

Emergency child care resources from NCDHHS

Internet map to find free or low-cost internet service for students

 

Mental Health Supports

The Disaster Distress Helpline provides 24/7/365 crisis counseling and support for anyone experiencing distress or other behavioral health concerns related to any natural or human-caused disaster, including public health emergencies. Calls to 1-800-985-5990 and texts of “TalkWithUs” to 66746 are answered by a network of independently operated crisis centers, which provide psychological first aid, emotional support, crisis assessment and intervention, and referrals to local/state behavioral health services for follow-up care and support.

MHA: Self-Help Tools

MHA: Mental Health and Coronavirus

CDC: Coronavirus – Managing Anxiety and Stress

SAMHSA: Coping With Stress During Infectious Disease Outbreaks

SAMHSA: Taking Care of Your Behavioral Health: Tips for Social Distancing, Quarantine, and Isolation During an Infectious Disease Outbreak

 

Updates for Medicaid Beneficiaries

NCDHHS: NC Innovations and TBI Waiver (Appendix K) Frequently Asked Questions on temporary Medicaid flexibilities

 

Recommended Sources of Information

Centers for Disease Control (CDC) COVID-19 page for facts about the virus, tips on prevention and treatment, and other information

NC COVID-19 page for North Carolina-specific information on the disease, executive orders, resources, unemployment, child care, help for small businesses, and more

CDC’s Share Facts page for a quick summary of facts and myths

 

Stay Updated

This page

ASNC social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)

Email (sign up here)

 

Protect Yourself and Your Family

Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds in hot, soapy water

Cover your mouth (not with your hands) when coughing or sneezing to prevent the spread of germs

If you or your child is not feeling well, stay home

Avoid close contact with people who are sick

Practice social distancing. While out, maintain at least 6 feet between yourself and others

Regularly clean surfaces that are frequently touched