CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – For a child with autism spectrum disorder “routine” is critical – it’s knowing that something is constant in their lives.

But now with a stay at home order in place life seems flipped upside down. What may be an everyday task for some could be a lot more work for a child on the autism spectrum. All this during National Autism Awareness Month.

“I can’t just say go brush your teeth, I need to say okay let’s go to the bathroom, I have to walk to the bathroom with him, ‘get your toothbrush’ then we have to get the toothbrush, ‘okay get the toothpaste’ and it is just breaking it do,” says Deidra Darst, an ‘Autism mom’.

Darst’s son, like many children with autism, receives specialized education or therapy daily, but now parents are forced to fill the roles of professional physical, occupational and speech therapists and it is a daunting task.

“I worry about possible regression and that we have worked for three years to be able to go to church and go to the store and restaurants and now he is going to have to relearn that,” Darst adds.

Andrew Nelson the Director of Direct Services for West Virginia Autism Training Center, “take a couple of deep breaths, start in that place of strength and comfort first, take care of yourself then move forward.” You can also contact them via their Facebook page.

Like the West Virginia Autism Training Center, “C.A.R.E.S” is also helping guide special needs families through this stressful time. They know that just as the parents are supporting their children – mom and dad need support too.

“We are trying to reach out to individuals if we have their information to see how they are doing and if nothing else be a judgment-free zone to just vent for a little while and have a judgment-free conversation,” Jill Scarboro-McLaury the founder of C.A.R.E.S.

That conversation can be started with a simple message on their Facebook page.