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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

UNICEF Innocenti's curated library of COVID-19 + Children research

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1 - 15 of 32
Lessons from United States school district policies and approaches to special education during the COVID-19 pandemic

Melissa E. Mendoza; Timothy F. Brewer; Matthew S. Smith (et al.)

Published: April 2022   Journal: International Journal of Inclusive Education
The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in many school districts in countries around the world transitioning rapidly to partial or complete remote learning. These disruptions affected all children’s education, but students with disabilities (SWDs) were particularly at-risk because of the challenges of providing accessible support and services through remote teaching programmes. This study examines the experience of SWDs in 24 United States school districts of instructional and adaptation models between August 2020 and February 2021. Districts varied in their approaches to remote instruction, compensatory services and prioritising SWDs for returning to the classroom before other students. Districts also varied substantially in the information provided regarding Distance Learning Plans, changes to Individualised Education Programmes and related service delivery.
One school’s management of students with intellectual disabilities during the COVID-19 outbreak in Japan: a study based on interviews with teachers

Yusuke Kusumi; Mitsuaki Tominaga; Hironobu Nagasawa (et al.)

Published: April 2022   Journal: Journal of intellectual disabilities : JOID
This study aimed to elucidate how school employees caring for students with intellectual disabilities managed emergencies caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It attended to decision-making by school managers as well as the engagement of local teachers in the outcome resolution process. A total of 10 teachers employed in different positions were purposefully selected from a school for students with intellectual disabilities in Osaka, Japan, and interviews were conducted with them via Zoom. The thematic analysis identified six significant premises: sensemaking, emergency responsive organization, high morale, planning through prioritization, risk management, and recovery from adverse incidents. The findings suggest distributed leadership functions to successfully sustain security in educational practices. Additionally, the empirical study consisting of interviews with staff in multiple positions reveals that all of the staff's proactive participation in decision-making and the communication process enabled the school to cope with the pandemic crisis as a united organization.
Successful school interventions for students with disability during Covid-19: empirical evidence from Australia

Catherine Smith; Massimiliano Tani; Sophie Yates (et al.)

Published: April 2022   Journal: The Asia-Pacific Education Researcher
Children and young people with disability are a “vulnerable” population within a pandemic context as they face structural inequities and discrimination as a result of their impairments. This paper reported research that sought to examine the learning experiences of children and young people with disability during the COVID-19 pandemic. It wanted to understand how this group fared and whether different interventions impacted on these experiences. Data were collected from an online survey organized by Children and Young People with Disability Australia (CYDA) that garnered responses from more than 700 families. The study contributes empirical evidence to the growing literature about COVID-19-related impacts on learners already recognized as experiencing multiple disadvantages in schooling.
Parents’ psychological stress and their views of school success for deaf or hard-of-hearing children during COVID-19

Sanyin Cheng; Shengli Cheng (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: Communication Disorders Quarterly
This study mainly explored psychological stress due to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) among parents of deaf and hard-of-hearing children and how it related to parents’ views of school success in mainland China. The Psychological Stress Questionnaire and Views of Social and Academic Success were administered to 213 parents of deaf and hard-of-hearing children. Results showed that parents’ and children’s characteristics were related to psychological stress due to COVID-19, which significantly negatively predicted parents’ views of school success. The contributions, limitations, and implications of the present research are discussed.
“This will likely affect his entire life”: parents’ views of special education services during COVID-19

Susan Sonnenschein; Michele L. Stites; Julie A. Grossman (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: International Journal of Educational Research
Research continues to emerge about the impact of COVID-19 on education; however, reports about the impact on students receiving special education services are more limited. This study examined parental views of distance learning for students with disabilities during the COVID-19 crisis. Using a survey disseminated via social media, this study examined parents’ views (N = 153) of PK-12 education for students receiving special education services during COVID-19.
Impacts of long-term COVID-19 school closures on Japanese school children

Chiaki Hayano; Shuichi Shimakawa; Miho Fukui (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: Pediatrics International

This study investigated the impact of COVID-19 pandemic school closures on the mental health of school students with chronic diseases. Questionnaires were distributed from 4th-9th grade students diagnosed with chronic diseases at Osaka Medical College Hospital and their parents or caregivers. Questionnaires from 286 families were returned by mail after schools reopened. The students were divided into the “psychosomatic disorder” group (P, n = 42), “developmental disorder” group (D, n = 89), and “other disease” group (O, n = 155). Using students’ self-report on the Questionnaire for Triage and Assessment with 30 items (QTA30), this study assessed the proportion of students having a high risk of psychosomatic disorder in three groups. It investigated how the students requiring the support of somatic symptom (SS) felt about school during school closure. Further, using parents’ and caregivers’ answers, SS scores were calculated before and during school closure and after school reopening.

Impact of Covid-19 on the education of children with disabilities in Malawi: reshaping parental engagement for the future

Nidhi Singal; Jenipher Mbukwa-Ngwira; Shruti Taneja-Johansson (et al.)

Published: November 2021   Journal: International Journal of Inclusive Education
Covid-19 has led to unparalleled school closures and bought about extraordinary and unique challenges to ensuring continuity of learning for children across countries. This paper focuses on the educational experiences of children with disabilities in Malawi. Using a telephone survey, 99 parents/carers were interviewed about the impact of school closure on them and their child with disabilities. Parents reported as being overwhelmingly dissatisfied with the educational experiences of their child with disabilities, with a significant number reporting that they had no contact with the school or the teachers during closures. Children with disabilities were reported as spending very little time on formal learning activities. Nonetheless, parents were confident that their child with disabilities would return to school once these re-opened, as parents noted the loss of structure for their child’s day and increased loneliness arising from lack of contact with their friends.
Sibling conflict during COVID-19 in families with special educational needs and disabilities

Umar Toseeb

Published: August 2021   Journal: British Journal of Educational Psychology
Young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SENDs) and their families have been particularly hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. In this longitudinal study, sibling conflict in these families during and after the first lockdown in the United Kingdom was investigated. Online questionnaires were completed by 504 parents of young people with SENDs at four time points between 23 March 2020 and 10 October 2020 (over half completed the questionnaire at multiple time points). As lockdown progressed, young people with SENDs were more likely to be picked on or hurt by their siblings compared with earlier stages of the lockdown but there was no change in how frequently they harmed or picked on their siblings. After lockdown, both perpetration and victimization decreased but not to the same rates as the first month of lockdown. Young people with SENDs with severe or complex needs were somewhat protected from sibling conflict.
Collaborating with parents during COVID-19 online teaching: special educator perspectives

Rachel K. Schuck; Rachel Lambert; Mian Wang

Published: August 2021   Journal: Education 3-13
Teachers whose students had trouble independently accessing the online curriculum during COVID-19 online learning had to rely heavily on parents. This paper presents findings from interviews with elementary special educators regarding their experiences collaborating with parents while teaching online. Thematic analysis generated four themes: prioritising non-academic support; increases in mutual understanding; parents implementing educational content; and providing feedback to parents. Teachers emphasised providing socio-emotional support to families and reported opportunities for teachers and parents to learn more about each other. They also highlighted several skills that were not smoothly translating to the home. Implications regarding strong teacher–parent partnerships are discussed.
Physical activity for children with autism spectrum disorder during COVID-19 pandemic

Shahnaz Shahrbanian; Meysam Yavari Kateb; Patricia K. Doyle-Baker (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: International Journal of Developmental Disabilities
In December 2019, Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) emerged in Wuhan, China that culminated in a serious pandemic condition. Physical distancing restrictions were a significant component of the public health emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic. For children and youth, these restrictions included safety measures that impacted daily activities related to physical activity (PA) participation worldwide. Preliminary evidence suggests that in children with special needs such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), COVID-19 restrictions may have disproportionally led to reduced levels of PA. The aim of this study was to review the benefits of PA for children with ASD and suggest Home PA Program examples for Children with ASD during COVID-19 pandemic and the quarantine time.
Special education for students with autism during the COVID-19 pandemic: Each day brings new challenges

Sarah Hurwitz; Blaine Garman-McClaine; Kane Carlock

Published: August 2021   Journal: Autism
The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) disrupted how educators provided supports and services for students with autism spectrum disorder. School closures and related pivoting between learning modalities were difficult for all students, but especially for students with autism, who rely on routine and often require individualized instruction. There has been limited opportunity for teachers to share their experiences of rapidly changing educational circumstances. The purpose of this mixed-methods study was to investigate how special educators and school-based specialists adapted practices for such students in response to pandemic conditions. One hundred and six educators from 40 school districts completed a written survey inquiring about the modifications they made to Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and their efforts to implement evidence-based practices. Participants reported adding individualized contingency learning plans to Individualized Education Programs, adjusting service minutes, and sometimes eliminating social goals.
Remote delivery of services for young children with disabilities during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States

Elizabeth A. Steed; Ngoc Phan; Nancy Leech (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Journal of Early Intervention
This study used a nationally distributed survey to explore how classroom-based early childhood personnel delivered remote services to young children with disabilities and their families during the early months of the U.S. response to the COVID-19 pandemic. A concurrent equal status fully mixed-method approach was used to analyze 221 participants’ responses to closed- and open-ended survey questions. Findings indicated that children with disabilities received modified special education services during school closures; most comments noted that early childhood personnel shifted to provide remote coaching to families. Other comments mentioned one-on-one services and accommodations for remote learning. Personnel described some benefits of remote services such as improved partnerships with families. Top reported challenges included children not receiving the same quality of services and high levels of educator stress. These and other study findings are discussed regarding the implications of COVID-19 for providing services to young children with disabilities and their families.
Distance education for d/deaf and hard of hearing students during the COVID-19 pandemic in Saudi Arabia: challenges and support

Faisl M. Alqraini; Khalid N. Alasim

Published: August 2021   Journal: Research in Developmental Disabilities

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 to be a global pandemic. This prompted many countries, including Saudi Arabia, to suspend students’ attendance at schools and to start distance education. This sudden shift in the educational system has affected students’ learning, particularly for d/Deaf and hard-of-hearing (d/Dhh) students, who have unique language and communication needs. This study explores the challenges and support methods for d/Dhh students during their distance education in Saudi Arabia.

Delayed educational services during Covid-19 and their relationships with the mental health of individuals with disabilities

Halis Sakız

Published: July 2021   Journal: Journal of Community Psychology
During the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, individuals with disabilities (IWD), like many others, have not been able to benefit effectively from educational and school-based mental health services, which are vital to achieving mental good health. This study aimed to collect views of IWD about how their mental health was affected by the school closure during Covid-19. Thirty-one IWD were interviewed and data were analyzed thematically.
Deaf students’ linguistic access in online education: the case of Trinidad

Noor-ud-din Mohammed

Published: July 2021   Journal: Deafness & Education International
Comparatively little research on linguistic access in deaf education has occurred in the Caribbean when compared to the rest of the world. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many Caribbean countries attempted large-scale e-learning for the first time. This study investigates how an emergent system of e-learning that started during crisis conditions affects the linguistic access of deaf students in Trinidad and Tobago. The framework for investigation encompasses the learning management system, course materials and language and communication involved in e-learning. A phenomenological method of inquiry is employed to understand the processes of receiving and providing online deaf education in terms of those who experience it. Data are triangulated from deaf primary and secondary school students, their teachers, interpreters and parents.
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UNICEF Innocenti's Children and COVID-19 Library is a database collecting research from around the world on COVID-19 and its impacts on children and adolescents.


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The first digest covers children and youth mental health under COVID-19.

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COVID-19 & Children: Rapid Research Response

UNICEF Innocenti is mobilizing a rapid research response in line with UNICEF’s global response to the COVID-19 crisis. The initiatives we’ve begun will provide the broad range of evidence needed to inform our work to scale up rapid assessment, develop urgent mitigating strategies in programming and advocacy, and preparation of interventions to respond to the medium and longer-term consequences of the COVID-19 crisis. The research projects cover a rapid review of evidence, education analysis, and social and economic policies.