Being an autistic teen in quarantine and staying occupied.

A hand holding a colored puzzle piece.
Us autistic people are unique and vivid puzzle pieces!

My name is Alex. I am autistic on the autism spectrum disorder. This is what it's like for me in quarantine using my own words. 

Quarantine has been tough a little bit. I miss talking to people face to face outside of my parents at home. At first I hated the thought of having to stay home more than usual. It was interesting at the end of last school year with "crisis school" as they called it. It's been a little hard for my mental health too, as I have other mental health issues.

There was no fancy celebration for my eighth grade promotion due to the pandemic, so my mom had a lot of family and a lot of friends of my family send me cards in the mail. Some of which I even got a little money. 

Since I've been in quarantine for a long time, I've pretty much gotten used to it. Quarantine doesn't have to be a bad thing though. I started actually using the textbooks and a few free online resources to learn Japanese. I began journaling just about every day. I started learning Korean using a free website. I even started learning Chinese using a few apps on my phone.

I strive to keep myself busy during quarantine also because of my ADHD. During this quarantine I've even discovered more of myself, and my religious beliefs. I'm a Christian. I have kept myself occupied for free or with a small amount of chore money. 

Having autism and other mental health issues can be challenging already enough, but when you add Coronavirus quarantine on top of that, it's a little extra harder for me some days. Even if you don't have the issues I have, I do have some ideas of things to do during quarantine. These are all my personal opinions and things I personally have done and tried.

1. Take an online course on Coursera or other platform. There's free courses you can take, but the specializations and certificates for the courses cost money. I'm not doing the courses I'm doing currently for a certificate.

2. Write in a journal or a blog.

3. Learn a new language, Duolingo is a good app and website!

4. Practice self care which is so important for your mental health. It could be as easy as taking a hot shower, cleaning your room, doing sudoku or word-search puzzles, or watching a few episodes of your favorite television show or streaming service show.

5. Call, text, message, email or video call a family member or a friend.

6. Read a book or an e-book! My library, even though it's shut down right now participates in a digital library where I can check out e-books and audiobooks. 

I hope that my story brought meaning. I also hope that my ideas of things to do during quarantine helped. 

United States of America