A free online resource developed to support the inclusion of autistic learners in Scottish Early Learning and Childcare settings, Primary and Secondary schools.

Supporting children and young people during the Coronavirus Pandemic

Blue rectangle with Pale blue text Coronavirus withCovid 19 underneath

Coronavirus (Covid 19)

Covid 19 has brought huge challenges and changes to all our lives. Autistic learners may find coping with the uncertainty and significant changes to their routines particularly stressful and challenging.

The emergence of a new variant of COVID-19 meant that reopening early learning and childcare settings (ELC) and schools in January 2021 would not have been consistent with a safety-first approach for children, young people and  staff. Exceptional arrangements were put in place as a precautionary measure while schools were closed to the majority of pupils. The roll out of the vaccinations across Scotland has supported the reopening of ELC and schools for children and young people, however some may still experience time at home if they are isolating. The information and links on this page hope to provide some support to families and their children.

The Scottish Government continues to publish updated guidance which is intended to provide clarity on arrangements for school education. 

Select here to access the Scottish Government guidance for early learning and childcare settings 

Select here to access the Scottish Government guidance for schools 

Vaccinations for children and young people


Coronavirus | Parent Club

COVID-19 vaccinations for children and young people | Parent Club


Remote Learning 

National expectations for remote learning were published by Education Scotland on the 8th January 2021. Select here to access the guidance. 

Education Scotland worked with schools and local authorities to support and improve the delivery of high quality and effective during remote learning. A national overview called 'What Scotland learned'  was published on the 29th January 2021. The purpose was to;

  • Learn what is working well and share good practice widely
  • Surface the challenges/issues and address them locally or nationally as appropriate.
  • Identify where further assistance is required.

Select here to access 'What Scotland learned' 

Online Support and Remote Learning 

The increasing volume of information on the internet about how to support all children, young people and their families during the Covid pandemic may feel overwhelming at times. This page aims to provide a small selection of helpful resources and links recommended by the Autism Toolbox for practitioners, schools, local authorities and families who are supporting autistic children and young people who are at home and engaging in blended learning if they are isolating. Please note that schools will also be providing learning and tecahing activities during this time. 

Select the resources which are most appropriate for the child or young person being supported

Information on Covid 19 

Many organisations now have information on their websites. Below are some websites which may be of help. 

NHS Covid 19 - Advice for everyone 

The Scottish Government - Information on supporting pupils, parents and teachers - learning during term 4 (Published 20.04.20) 

NHS Clear Your Head

During these difficult times it’s important to stick to the advice about staying at home and reducing social contact. But that doesn’t mean you have to get through things all on your own. There are lots of organisations offering ideas and practical assistance to get you through. Whenever you need it, this NHS website can point you in the right direction.

Scottish Autism -Guidance and resources. 

National Autistic Society - Guidance and resources. This website also has a Scottish section with a range of other information. 

Select 'here' to access the latest NAIT newsletter. 

Select 'here' to access NAIT's advice for parents 

Education Scotland Website  | Sign up to newsletters



Explaining Covid 19 to children and young people.

The BBC Newsround site has a comprehensive section on coronavirus developed for children and young people.  

Belfast Health and Social Care TrustA Short film about Coronavirus for children 

CALL Scotland are sharing some visual support resources to help explain Covid 19 

Carol Gray has created a social story to help explain Covid 19. select 'here' to down a copy. 

Childline have a comprehensive range of information, support, activities and suggestions for children and young people 

ENABLE have produced some easy read Covid 19 fact sheets on their website. 

Mencap have created some easy ready information about Coronavirus for you to use based on the latest guidance from the Government. (March 24th). Select ‘here’ to download a copy 

National Autism Society information on Covid 19  

Parent Club - Coronavirus

Scottish Autism  A comprehensive range of information and a helpful Covid 19 Support Document. Select 'here' to download a copy. 

Young Scot Covid 19 - A comprehensive range of information specifically designed for children and young people. It includes helpful advice and suggestions to reduce stress and anxiety which may be felt by children and young people at this time. 

Share a film showing the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, and the Scottish Government's National Clinical Director for Scotland, Jason Leitch, when they joined Young Scot for a special live stream, answering questions on COVID-19. 


Supporting a return to early years and school

A range of information and resources to support learners, their families and practitioners in the return to full time education can be found in the Transitions section of the Toolbox 


Supporting extended time at home

The following information provides some suggestions, free activities and resources to support the expended time we are all spending at home.  

Select 'here' to access NAIT's advice for parents 


Supporting daily activities 

The Toolbox has a number of free downloadable visual supports in the resources section - select 'here' to access them. - Visual Support Project (VSP)

To support the extended period children and young people are now at home due to Covid 19,  NAIT have developed some helpful guidance, posters and some additional visual supports.

Guidance for movement breaks 

Staying at home safe space guidance 

Key messages for staying at home - Social Partners

Key messages for staying at home - Language and Conversational Partners


Key messages for staying at home - Social Partners Poster.  

Key messages for staying at home - Language and Conversational Partners Poster.  

Supporting home learning  

Things to remember 

Things often thought are needed by children in during isolation  Things actually needed by children during isolation   
Time tabled activities from 09.00am - end of school day  Balance of activities 
No Screen Time  Flexible Routines 
Lots of school work  Learning /School work 
Rigid Routine  Practical learning activities e.g. cooking, gardening, art 
New Toys  Construction activities, den building,  model building
  Interaction with adults - also using social media  
  Play  - games - could include using electronic devices 
  Relaxation times 

(Adapted from a resource developed by the Inverclyde Psychology Service) 


It is important for parents and carers to understand that no one expects parents/carers and family members to be the teacher. Schools will be providing activities and work for home learning and they will be monitoring their learners' progress. 

Below are some suggestions which can complement the work provided by schools. Please note that:

  • Schools may already have subscriptions to learning websites and may have shared the passwords with learners and their families

  • Some of the sites are offering free subscriptions during school closures 

GLOW  is the Scottish Schools National Intranet. This is a major national ICT and telecommunications programme managed by Education Scotland. It is available to all learners in Scottish local authority schools. GLOW has a wide range of learning opportunities and is commonly being used by schools as a way to support distance learning while they are closed.

BBC ‘How to keep your kids learning at home’

BBC Teach    A range of live lessons for primary and secondary pupils  

BBC Bitesize  This site is accessible, and learners can access a wide range of learning resources appropriate to their need and interests.

Call Scotland provide a wide range of information and accessible resources to support home learning.

Addressing Dyslexia Toolkit Within the Toolkit there are a range of learning and teaching resources which support literacy and numeracy skills. This website has helpful information for all learners. Including those who are not dyslexic.

SCHOLAR supports independent study; students can use the materials to study anytime, anywhere, in school, college or home.

If you have any suggestions to include within this page please  email the Autism toolbox working group at autismtoolbox@gov.scot   

Listening to stories - Audible have made their children's stories free to stream for as long as schools are closed.  

David Walliams is reading a free story each day via his Twitter page while the schools are closed. 

Julia Donaldson and Friends - Every Thursday at 4pm Monday 6 April 2020 to Thursday 4 June 2020. Join Julia Donaldson and Friends while she shares a song, story or poems, joined by a selection of guest illustrators.

Clicker and DocsPlus: https://www.cricksoft.com/uk/clicker/clicker-at-home

Nessy (virtual school): https://www.nessy.com/uk/virtualschool/ 

Activity Villagehttps://www.activityvillage.co.uk/school-closures 

Sumdog: https://pages.sumdog.com/home-learning-during-school-closures/  

Nessy (virtual school): https://www.nessy.com/uk/virtualschool/

The James Dyson Foundation Dyson’s charitable arm, introduces young people to the exciting world of engineering, encouraging them to think differently, make mistakes and realize their engineering potential. Dyson engineers have designed fun and free challenge cards with activities specifically for children and young people which can be done at home

75th anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) Day - Join Discovery Education as they commemorate the 75th anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) Day. Through a series of activities, learn what life was like in Britain during the Second World War culminating in a national virtual tea party.  

Jo Wicks - Free daily fitness lessons on his official UTube site

Dance with Oti Mabuse on her official UTube site

Yoga  - A wide range of free online Yoga lessons are available online. 

Listening to stories /audio books - see the Language Resources tab. 

Music with Mayleen Klass 

below are a few suggestions - there are many more 

Glasgow Science Centre daily scientific video #GSCAtHome

‘The Great Indoors’ (indoor activities from the Scouts)

Chris Packham - Spring Blossoms - Daily films by Chris Packham exploring nature and biology    #WildMorningswithChris

Yoga  - A wide range of free online Yoga lessons are available online. 

Den Building in the house or garden 

Live web cameras/animations  at Museums, Zoos and Wildlife Parks 



The British Museum – interactive experience - https://britishmuseum.withgoogle.com/

The British Museum's learning team create and deliver accessible world class cultural learning experiences for all ages and levels. They have developed some resources which support learning at home. https://www.britishmuseum.org/learn/schools . Although the resources are linked to the English curriculum levels, the content is appropriate. For example

Egyptians – ‘How were mummies made?’  

British Natural History Museum  - Virtual Tours and activities to try at home https://www.nhm.ac.uk/visit/virtual-museum.html 

The Smithsonian, National Museum of Natural History – Virtual Tour (America) https://naturalhistory.si.edu/visit/virtual-tour


Art Galleries 


Tate for Kids - Play free art games and fun quizzes, find art activities, read about artists and share your art https://www.tate.org.uk/kids

National Portrait Gallery – Edinburgh – At Home resources (scroll down the page)

National Portrait Gallery – London Virtual Tours 

The Louvre – Paris Virtual Tour https://www.louvre.fr/en/visites-en-ligne and https://www.louvre.fr/en?mod=article_inline 

"On minute in a museum".  Fun 60 second animations about works of art featuring three cartoon characters who react to works of art from the Louvre museum.


Zoos and Wildlife Parks 


Edinburgh Zoo -Animal Live cams 

Highland Wildlife Park Animal Live cams 

Blair Dummond Safari Park - Animal Webcams