How might we ensure the COVID-19 response is disability-inclusive so that autistic children have a healthier lifestyle at home?

Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being | By: Juman


The Current Pandemic Climate Is Not Disability-Inclusive.
Post-pandemic situations have exacerbated current situations because of contributing factors stemming from either reduced or a lack of pre-pandemic resources. This system map serves as an in-depth overview of the drastic changes the pandemic has caused for children with autism. Parents are the first responders and this system map reflects their top concerns.

The Continuous Post-Pandemic Side Effects
Social isolation has affected childrens’ routines and their lifestyles but has increased the risk of immediate, short-term, and long-term effects. Research shows that routines with fewer interruptions develop fewer short-term effects. Long-term side effects have been highlighted in pink because they pose an almost permanent risk for most autistic cases. They include the pandemic protocols, bylaws, emotional toxicity, and the lack of a disability-inclusive response.

The Ideal COVID-19 Response
The ideal COVID-19 response needs to be established so that the recovery rate for autistic children and their families is not jeopardized. These macro effects contribute to what is restricting autistic children from having a healthy lifestyle during the pandemic. They include but are not limited to, digital accessibility, emotional stability, support, and social fabrics. Social fabrics consist of family, friends, caregivers, and the community.

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Like everyone else, I’ve been keeping up with news about COVID-19 and its effect on the non-medical spectrum. One thing that I don’t have experience in and as a result became intrigued about was how children's education has been impacted by the pandemic protocols. Social isolation has not only affected children's routines and their lifestyles but for many students with disabilities, their whole education system took a hit. As a result, my HMW question is an in-depth overview that serves as a breakdown of the drastic changes and the impact the pandemic has had on children with autism. I learnt that the current pandemic climate is not disability-inclusive. This is concerning because, without this support, the special needs education and families will suffer immediate, short-term, and long-term effects even after the pandemic protocols are resumed.