Staying home doesn’t have to be boring.
While Eden Autism residents have been spending more time at home as a precaution against the coronavirus, they have been engaging in plenty of activities. From dance and sing along parties to fashion shows, staff have been keeping residents active and entertained throughout the coronavirus crisis.
Recreation Specialist Jennifer Shaw organizes weekly activities for the participants in Eden’s residential program. Some activities are smaller — Simon Says and dance parties — but other activities are more intricate, such as fashion shows, karaoke, and painting sessions. These activities give staff and residents a creative outlet to help organize fun events, and they’ve become the highlight of the week for many participants.
“They look forward to it so much,” said Jennifer. “I work with each group home at the same time every week, so they know when they’re going to speak with me, and they really look forward to doing something with me.”
Many of these activities were previously done at the day centers, which have been temporarily closed due to the coronavirus. Jennifer now conducts them virtually, with help from the staff in the group homes and apartments. Moving the day center activities into participants’ homes provides participants with a sense of comfort and normalcy.
“Before we even start our session, I ask them how they’re doing with all the craziness going on,” said Jennifer. “A lot of them want to get back to what things were like before, but I cheer them up and say ‘hey, we’re going to do something fun today’ and that’s when they get excited. I’m sad I can’t see them in person, but I’m happy I’m able to put a smile on their face and hear them laughing and asking me if they’re doing a good job. They’re so involved, so excited.”
July’s upcoming activities include coloring on canvas, a scavenger hunt, and yoga. While many external factors surrounding the coronavirus remain uncertain, the Eden staff’s creativity and dedication to our participants remains unwavering.