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As wearing masks became commonplace to minimize the spread of COVID-19, Wisconsin speech pathologist and autism specialist, Tara Tuchel wondered how it would impact children. And more importantly, kids with autism. So she started Autism Little Learners and authored a series of stories that help kids cope with wearing a mask and navigating the world around them during a pandemic.

"As the Coronavirus pandemic started, I had a friend who asked if I could write a social story for her daughter, who was having a hard time suddenly having to stay home," Tuchel told Scary Mommy. "She missed going to her favorite stores and restaurants. So, I wrote her a story about Coronavirus and staying home."

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Having previously written a children's book, writing wasn't new to Tuchel. In fact, she received requests to write stories for kids. "The new topics just kept coming and I was getting requests for stories on these new topics," Tuchel explained. "So, I relied a lot on what parents and teachers were asking for. The stories spread around the globe and started being translated into many, many different languages. This really made me realize that the entire world was in this together and facing the same challenges."

"Once we talk about it in a non-scary way, it will become more normalized and cause less anxiety, Tuchel explained on her website. "So, here is a free story to help us and our children."

Download a free copy of the book at autismlittlelearners.com.

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