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The Impact of COVID-19 Lockdown on Parents and Young People With Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
journal contributionposted on 2023-05-05, 01:45 authored by C Humphreys, L Novy, N Cergovski, HC Lai, K McVilly
The spread of COVID-19 resulted in restrictive lockdowns. For families supporting young people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the service system was stripped away. The aim of this study was to explore the impact of this challenging situation on a group of Australian carers and parents of children and young people with ASD, with an intention to inform policy and practice based on the lived experiences of these families. A survey of parents of children and young people with ASD in Australia returned 117 responses, of which 86 responded to open-ended questions about COVID-19 lockdowns. Twelve parents responded to the invitation to be interviewed. Interview and survey data were analysed thematically. Five themes emerged: accessing support services, receiving support services online, changes in behaviour, higher levels of conflict, and impact on health and relationships. The experience of lockdowns under COVID-19 undermined informal and formal support systems, and had a particularly strong negative impact on the experiences of children with ASD and their families. These findings also provide support for understanding the social model of disability as a mainstay in the lives of children with disabilities and their carers. IMPLICATIONS The social model of disability was dismantled for children and young people and their carers during the COVID crisis. This unacceptable attack on the human rights of disabled people (people with a disability) needs future planning to ensure that it does not occur again. Future crises require more nuanced policy and practice responses that do not close off all child and family supports to children with ASD and their carers.
JournalAustralian Social Work
PublisherInforma UK Limited
Brain DisordersAutismMental HealthIntellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD)Pediatric7 Management of diseases and conditions7.1 Individual care needsMental health4 Quality EducationSpecialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classifiedSocial Work not elsewhere classifiedPolicy and Administration not elsewhere classified