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Getting tested for COVID is uncomfortable. The nurse or doctor needs to swab the back of the throat and mouth.

Being prepared for the procedure will help children cope better and feel less anxious.

Berry Street’s Take Two Developmental Specialists Team have developed a free printable social story that explains in familiar terms, what will happen and why the test is needed.

Take Two invites carers or parents (especially those looking after children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or other developmental differences including a trauma history) to share the social story with their child to make a COVID test more manageable.

  1. Download the social story and print it (if you don’t have access to a printer: open it and show full screen on a computer or tablet).
  2. Find a time when both the child and you are calm.
  3. Suggest that you read them a story about getting a test to keep them healthy.
  4. Read the social story slowly with the child.
  5. Observe their reaction to see if they understand.
  6. It’s OK to talk about things as you go through the story.
  7. Remember to pause and give the child a chance to ask questions.
  8. Try to look at the story together several times before you go to have the test done.
  9. Reassure the child you’ll be there to look after them.
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You can find more information about Social Stories and ASD here.

Berry Street’s Take Two program is a Victoria-wide therapeutic service helping to address the impact on children of the trauma they have experienced from abuse, neglect or adverse experiences.

Take Two can provide specialist clinical consultancy services to other organisations. Contact us for more information.

More foster carers urgently needed in Victoria

Source: Child protection Australia 2018-19, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

*Including children in permanent care.