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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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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.
The Impact of COVID-19 on Anxiety and Worries for Families of Individuals with Special Education Needs and Disabilities in the UK

V. Sideropoulos; D. Dukes; M. Hanley (et al.)

Published: July 2021   Journal: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
COVID-19 has affected people across the world. The current study examined anxiety and worries during the first UK national lockdown in March 2020. Parents (n = 402) reported on their own anxiety and worries as well as that of their son/daughter with Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and typically developing (TD) child (n = 186) at three time points. Although both groups showed increased anxiety across the three time points, levels of anxiety in the SEND group, but not the TD siblings, were predicted by awareness about COVID-19. In addition, worries differed between the groups showing that COVID-19 impacts the wellbeing of those with SEND differently to that of their TD siblings.
Shifting to remote learning during COVID-19: differences for early childhood and early childhood special education teachers

Elizabeth A. Steed; Nancy Leech

Published: June 2021   Journal: Early Childhood Education Journal
This study explored similarities and differences in how early childhood education (ECE) teachers (n = 947) and early childhood special education (ECSE) teachers (n = 160) provided remote learning to young children and their families following COVID-19 shelter in place orders in the spring of 2020. The most utilized remote learning activities for both ECE and ECSE teachers were the provision of activities for families to use at home, communication with families, online lessons, and singing songs and reading books. Both types of professionals spent more time planning and communicating with families than providing instruction to children.
Mainstream teachers’ concerns about inclusive education for children with special educational needs and disability in England under pre-pandemic conditions

Eleanor Warnes; Elizabeth J. Done; Helen Knowler

Published: June 2021   Journal: Jorsen
A survey-based investigation of teachers’ concerns was conducted the following adaptation of Sharma and Desai’s ‘Concerns about Integrated Education (CIE) Scale’ two decades ago. The terminology was adjusted and ‘integrated’ became ‘inclusive’, and ‘Special Educational Needs and / or Disability (SEND)’ replaced ‘disability’ in a novel ‘Concerns about Inclusive Education Scale’. A purposive sample included the public and private education sectors. An online questionnaire was completed in April 2020 (n = 93) by teachers (66: state mainstream, 18: independent, 5: UK-based international schools, 3: SEND specialists, 1: alternative provision). Statistical analysis of closed questions aimed to identify teachers’ concerns about IE for children with SEND and was complemented by qualitative analysis of data generated through open-ended questions. Varied understandings of what IE means and longstanding concerns were identified. The highest level of concern was evidenced around resources, specifically, funding for specialist and support staff, resources, and appropriate infrastructure.
Experiences of mothers caring for a child with an intellectual disability during the COVID-19 pandemic in the Netherlands

P. Embregts; L. Heerkens; N. Frielink (et al.)

Published: June 2021   Journal: Journal of Intellectual Disability Research
During the first COVID-19 lockdown period, various restrictions led to diminished access to both educational and professional support systems for children with an intellectual disability and their families. The aim of this study was to explore the experiences and needs of parents caring for a child with an intellectual disability during the first lockdown period in the Netherlands.
Decommissioning normal: COVID-19 as a disruptor of school norms for young people with learning disabilities

Mhairi C. Beaton; Geraldene N. Codina; Julie C. Wharton

Published: June 2021   Journal: British Journal of Learning Disabilities
To slow the spread of COVID-19, on 20 March 2020, nurseries, schools and colleges across England were closed to all learners, apart from those who were children of key workers or were considered “vulnerable.” As young people with learning disabilities, families, professionals and schools become acquainted with the Erfahrung of the new horizon brought about by COVID-19, the negativity of altered social inclusion is becoming the “new normal.” Capturing this transitory moment in time, this paper reflexively analyses the curiously productive variables of altered ecological pathways to social inclusion for people with learning disabilities.
COVID-19 and inclusive open and distance learning solutions: A rapid assessment of the development and implementation of inclusive open and distance learning solutions for students with disabilities served by inclusive, special schools and resource c
Institution: UNESCO
Published: June 2021

This report highlights a very important topic for the world and for society: inclusive education as a significant issue in the context of the global Education 2030 Agenda and special education to safeguard the rights and interests of per-sons with disabilities share a common focus on the equal access to education for students with disabilities among disadvantaged groups. UNESCO has been advocating for the global com-munity to work together to find ways to remove barriers to learning for persons with disabilities and to provide them with appropriate conditions for equal access to education. Evidence–based data received during interviews with over 50 educators in Rwanda and Mauritius provided the opportunity to identify gaps, les-sons learned, and good practices in the target countries, and helped to articulate the policy recommendations to encourage innovative and pervasive use of ICT and ODL solutions for the education of students with disabilities.

COVID 19, technology-based education and disability: the case of Mauritius; emerging practices in inclusive digital learning for students with disabilities

Anuradha Gungadeen

Institution: UNESCO
Published: June 2021

The research was guided by the following objectives: outline the main contributions of institutions in facilitating integration of information and communication technology (ICT) in SEN education during the pandemic crisis; examine the relevance, efficiency, and effectiveness of technological innovations employed in SEN education; analyse the major barriers impeding the implementation of ODL solutions in SEN education; determine the promising innovative technological practices and whether they are potentially sustainable and replicable in a post-COVID environment; propose policy recommendations to promote and encourage innovative and pervasive use of ODL solutions for learners with disabilities as a post-COVID recovery plan.

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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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