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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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The impact of COVID-19 on the adaptive functioning, behavioral problems, and repetitive behaviors of Italian children with autism spectrum disorder: an observational study

AUTHOR(S)
Martina Siracusano; Eugenia Segatori; Assia Riccioni

Published: February 2021   Journal: Children
Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their families have represented a fragile population on which the extreme circumstances of the COVID-19 outbreak may have doubly impaired. Interruption of therapeutical interventions delivered in-person and routine disruption constituted some of the main challenges they had to face. This study investigated the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on adaptive functioning, behavioral problems, and repetitive behaviors of children with ASD.
Impact of COVID-19 and lockdown on children with ADHD and their families: an online survey and a continuity care model

AUTHOR(S)
Ruchita Shah; V. Venkatesh Raju; Sandeep Grover (et al.)

Published: January 2021   Journal: Journal of Neurosciences in Rural Practice
Little is known about the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic on children with attention-deficit hyperkinetic disorder (ADHD). This study aimed to assess the impact of lockdown on children with the ADHD, and their families. Additionally, feasibility of carrying out “text message-based” intervention was evaluated.
Attitude, anxiety and perceived mental health care needs among parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in Saudi Arabia during COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Youssef Althiabi

Published: January 2021   Journal: Research in Developmental Disabilities

This study indicates that COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the attitude, anxiety and mental status of parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Saudi Arabia. The anxiety of parents during COVID-19 was significantly higher than before the COVID-19 situation. During COVID-19 pandemic the parent’s mental health issues were more related to loss in confidence, feeling of worthlessness and depression.

Learning at home during COVID-19 school closures: how do German students with and without special educational needs manage?

AUTHOR(S)
Lena Nusser

Published: January 2021   Journal: European Journal of Special Needs Education
School closures due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic put challenges on teachers, students and their parents. In particular, students with special educational needs or students with low achievement levels who need more support in learning may have more difficulties coping compared to their peers. Using longitudinal data of the German National Educational Panel Study, the circumstances of students in secondary school during the time of school closures are characterised, in particular focusing on students who have been diagnosed with special educational needs or showing low achievement levels at the end of primary school.
Blurring boundaries: the invasion of home as a safe space for families and children with SEND during COVID-19 lockdown in England

AUTHOR(S)
Natalie Canning; Beryl Robinson

Published: January 2021   Journal: European Journal of Special Needs Education
This paper examines experiences of families and children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) with a focus on Autism during a 9-week period in 2020 of ‘lockdown’ due to COVID-19 where the UK Government’s message was ‘stay home, stay safe’. For these families, home is where children can be themselves, shut out the outside world and have their own routine. This research draws on interpretative, ethnographic narrative data from eight families of children with Autism/complex needs, aged 5–13 years, and how they have experienced lockdown with competing pressures from school and other agencies.
My son can’t socially distance or wear a mask: how families of preschool children with severe developmental delays and challenging behavior experienced the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Laura Paulauskaite; Ola Farris; Helen M. Spencer (et al.)

Published: January 2021   Journal: Journal of Mental Health Research in Intellectual Disabilities

Families of children with developmental delays (DD) prior to the COVID-19 pandemic experienced inequalities in accessing health and social care services. Measures put in place to combat the spread of the coronavirus have potentially exacerbated existing inequalities and have led to additional pressures for these families. This is a cross-sectional online survey of parents of young children with moderate to severe DD and challenging behaviors living in England, UK. Parents have been asked about the impact the pandemic has had on their family well-being, receipt of support, and post COVID-19 concerns.

Core experiences of parents of children with autism during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown
Published: January 2021   Journal: Autism i
The lockdown that was imposed by governments as part of the attempt to contain the COVID-19 pandemic included extreme measures, such as home confinement and the shutting down of special education systems. This study aims to learn about the core experiences of parents of children with autism during this significant life disturbance. Thirty-one parents of 25 children with autism participated in semi-structured telephone interviews which were transcribed verbatim and underwent a qualitative, immersion/crystallization analysis.
Conducting CBT for anxiety in children with autism spectrum disorder during COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Carla B. Kalvin; Rebecca P. Jordan; Sonia N. Rowley (et al.)

Published: January 2021   Journal: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
This commentary describes the transition to remote delivery of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for anxiety in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who participates in a clinical trial during the COVID-19 pandemic. The effects of COVID-19 on children’s anxiety and on the family functioning are discussed. Modifications to CBT necessitated by telehealth delivery were aimed at maximizing engagement of children and their parents while maintaining treatment fidelity and adhering to the research protocol. Treatment targets were updated to address new sources of anxiety and CBT exposure exercises were modified to accommodate the new reality of quarantine restrictions. If the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect treatment delivery it may require a widespread utilization of telehealth for treating anxiety in children with ASD.
A systematic review of technological approaches for autism spectrum disorder assessment in children: Implications for the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Angela V. Dahiya; Elizabeth De Lucia; Christina G. McDonnell (et al.)

Published: January 2021   Journal: Research in Developmental Disabilities

Screening and diagnostic assessments tools for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are important to administer during childhood to facilitate timely entry into intervention services that can promote developmental outcomes across the lifespan. However, assessment services are not always readily available to families, as they require significant time and resources. Currently, in-person screening and diagnostic assessments for ASD are limited due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will continue to be a concern for situations that limit in-person contact. Thus, it is important to expand the modalities in which child assessments are provided, including the use of technology. This systematic review aims to identify technologies that screen or assess for ASD in 0–12 year-old children, summarizing the current state of the field and suggesting future directions.

While quarantined: an online parent education and training model for families of children with autism in China

AUTHOR(S)
Seung Eun McDevitt

Published: January 2021   Journal: Research in Developmental Disabilities

In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, already limited services and resources for families of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in China became even more scarce. This qualitative case study highlights one online parent education and training (PET) program developed during the pandemic to offer home-intervention strategies to parents of children with ASD in mainland China. This exploratory study sought to examine the emic perspectives of the trainers and parents who participated in the 12-week intensive training program while considering the cultural context in China and the transnational, remote nature of the program.

Parental experiences of homeschooling during the COVID-19 pandemic: differences between seven European countries and between children with and without mental health conditions

AUTHOR(S)
Lisa B. Thorell; Charlotte Skoglund; Almudena Giménez de la Peña

Published: January 2021   Journal: European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
The aim of the present study was to examine parental experiences of homeschooling during the COVID-19 pandemic in families with or without a child with a mental health condition across Europe. The study included 6720 parents recruited through schools, patient organizations and social media platforms (2002 parents with a child with a mental health condition and 4718 without) from seven European countries.
The association between child ADHD symptoms and changes in parental involvement in kindergarten children’s learning during COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Moira Wendel; Tessa Ritchie; Maria A. Rogers (et al.)

Published: December 2020   Journal: School Psychology Review
The coronavirus pandemic 2019 (COVID-19) changed the context of schooling for both parents and their children. Learning at home presents new challenges for parents of young children and particularly for parents of children with behavior difficulties, such as inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. The current study examined changes to parent and child behavior due to COVID-19 among 4- and 5-year-old children and their parents. Changes in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms and levels of parental involvement in children’s learning were examined. ADHD symptoms were also examined as a moderator of changes in parent involvement. Data were collected prior to COVID-19 and several months after school closures.
Physical health, media use, and mental health in children and adolescents with ADHD during the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia

AUTHOR(S)
Emma Sciberras; Pooja Patel; Mark A. Stokes (et al.)

Published: December 2020   Journal: Journal of Attention Disorders
This article aims to examine the impact of COVID-19 restrictions among children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Parents of 213 Australian children (5–17years) with ADHD completed a survey in May 2020 when COVID-19 restrictions were in place (i.e., requiring citizens to stay at home except for essential reasons).
Using hybrid telepractice for supporting parents of children with ASD during the COVID-19 lockdown: a feasibility study in Iran

AUTHOR(S)
Sayyed Ali Samadi; Shahnaz Bakhshalizadeh-Moradi; Fatemeh Khandani (et al.)

Published: November 2020   Journal: Brain Science
During the three-month closure of clinics and day centers in Iran due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) lockdown, parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) became solely responsible for their care and education. Although centers maintained telephone contact, it quickly became evident that parents needed more detailed advice and guidance. Staff from 30 daycare centers volunteered to take part in a two-month online support and training course for 336 caregivers of children with ASD of different ages. In addition to the provision of visual and written information, synchronous video sessions were used to coach parents on the learning goals devised for the children. Both qualitative and quantitative data were collected to understand the acceptability of using telepractice and the outcomes achieved. A low dropout rate and positive feedback from parents indicated that they perceived telepractice sessions to be useful. The factors contributing to parents’ satisfaction were identified. Although the use of telepractice would be a good alternative for caregivers in any future lockdowns, it could also be used in conjunction with daycare center services to encourage greater parental participation, or with families living in areas with no day centers. Further studies are needed to compare telepractice to usual daycare face-to-face interventions, and to document its impact and cost-effectiveness for parents and children.
Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on exposure and response prevention outcomes in adults and youth with obsessive-compulsive disorder

AUTHOR(S)
Eric A. Storch; Jessica C. Sheu; Andrew G. Guzick (et al.)

Published: November 2020   Journal: Psychiatry Research

The  COVID-19 pandemic has  created novel mental health challenges for  those with  pre-existing problems including obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). This study reports on clinician perceptions regarding the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on patients with OCD receiving exposure and response prevention treatment (ERP) prior to and during the pandemic. Participating clinicians completed a survey which included questions adapted from National Institute of Mental Health-Global Obsessive-Compulsive Scale (NIMH-GOCS) and Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS).

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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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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.