Mother re-creates spring break at home for her son with autism amid coronavirus pandemic

Published: Apr. 2, 2020 at 5:20 PM CDT
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Millions of people are working from home, students out of school. The coronavirus has put a wrinkle in almost everyone's daily schedule. For some families, it's a little more difficult than others.

Nine-year-old JW Hardin was excited to hear that school was out for a little while, but in the reality, it threw him off.

"We are trying our best to come up with a new normal routine," said Amy Hardin.

JW has autism and for him, routines and schedules are everything.

"About day 3 or 4 he just had a total meltdown so I think it's okay to embrace and accept those meltdown. It's apart of our journey they're going to happen," said Amy Hardin, JW's mother.

There's no manual for explaining a global pandemic to kids, especially to ones where routines matter.

"If we had take out delivered on a take out Tuesday he'll say is the virus coming in with that food, so we know those anxieties are there," said Amy.

In order to cure those anxieties, Amy is going above and beyond for her son.

Since JW loves to travel and they do every spring break, Amy decided to turn every room in her house into a new generation.

"We decided to bring the world to our house and travel from room to room and learn about different parts of our world while being healthy at home

"I was a little unsure how that would happen because he's a very literal thinker," she said. " But then, he said, 'you better hurry up mom we only have five minutes until we land in Hawaii.'"

Amy says transparent communication works with him, but that's not always guaranteed.

"What we're doing right now- may not work next week."

Nonetheless, there's something that does work, and it's this team right here-- a fun-supportive mom, and a pretty normal kid who is much probably much better at keeping a schedule than most of us.

"His brain just works a little bit differently than everybody else's and that's what makes him so special and so unique."

Today is also World Autism Day.