MILWAUKEE COUNTY, Wis. (SPECTRUM NEWS) -- The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent Safer at Home order have created at least some disruptions in the lives of almost everyone around Wisconsin. However, for people on the autism spectrum, adjusting to the rapid changes to daily schedules can be especially challenging.

Those challenges are very real for the Martin family. Sara Martin, her husband Richard, and 8-year-old son Reuben are all on the autism spectrum. As a family, adjusting to changes in schedules, attending classes at home and working from home has been a big adjustment.

“It is like everyone else in the world is being asked to carry around 100 marbles but everyone else has a bag and you have only got your bare hands,” says Sara Martin.

For many people with autism, having drastic changes in schedules can be very disruptive.

“Like most autistic people we are happier when we have a set schedule and we know exactly what we are doing at set times. I can tell you in terms of my own work having to set my own schedule without my normal cues that this is work time it makes it more difficult to do the remote work,” says Martin

It comes at a time when many organizations that help those with autism are having to significantly scale back the services they offer because in person meetings aren’t able to take place. It has been the case at Friendship Circle in Bayside, which has had to adjust services to online.

“We went full force to online activities. Everyday we have five or six activities a day going on virtually. That has been a lifeline for many families who need to see their friends,” says Friendship Circle Co-Director Leah Stein.

Now families like the Martin’s say they are working to make the best of a challenging situation but are grateful for all who have come together to help. ​