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How is COVID-19 affecting the mental health of children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities and their families?

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Publication details

JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
DateAccepted/In press - 13 Jun 2020
DateE-pub ahead of print - 31 Jul 2020
DatePublished (current) - 5 May 2021
Number of pages8
Pages (from-to)1772-17780
Early online date31/07/20
Original languageEnglish


Parents of children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities in the UK (n=241) were asked to describe the impact of COVID-19 on their own mental health and that of their child. An inductive content analysis of the data was undertaken. Both parents and children appear to be experiencing loss, worry and changes in mood and behaviour as a result of the rapid social changes that have occurred. Some parents reported feeling overwhelmed and described the impact of child understanding and awareness. Finally, a minority of parents reported that COVID-19 has had little impact on mental health in their family, or has even led to improvements. Implications for how to support these families in the immediate future are discussed.

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© The Author(s) 2020

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