Helping children and young people with additional needs understand coronavirus

26 March 2020

Mark Arnold, the Additional Needs Blogfather, helps us think through what might be helpful for our children and young people.

The following are some resources that Mark recommends on his blog to help the children you are in contact with to better understand coronavirus and why things are so different at the moment. These can also help you explain why school is closed and what you will be doing at home each day, and they include a prayer that you can use together. 

Social stories

  • Here’s a great social story* resource from MindHeart ( about the coronavirus that helps children to get to know about the virus a little bit. You can download the free printable PDF social story here: Hello I’m Coronavirus.
  • A really helpful social story* has been put together by the Triple A Alliance, which helps us to explain more about how to stay safe from Coronavirus to children. You can download it from their Twitter page.

*As with all social stories, those that have been written by others should only be used as a template. Every social story should be personalised for the people they are being written for if possible. Find out more about how to create social stories (scroll to the bottom for links to info on social stories).

Widget Resources

For teenagers or young adults with learning disability

These are some really helpful resources from the Council for Intellectual Disability in Australia, and are a great way of explaining Coronavirus/Covid-19 to teenagers or young adults with intellectual/learning disability:

More resources

More resources are available from the Additional Needs Alliance – choose ‘Resources’ and ‘Our Time At Home’.