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Parent-reported social-communication changes in children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder during the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK

Morris, Phoebe O and Hope, Edward and Foulsham, Tom and Mills, John P (2021) 'Parent-reported social-communication changes in children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder during the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK.' International Journal of Developmental Disabilities. ISSN 2047-3877

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Abstract

Introduction: The coronavirus pandemic has swept across the United Kingdom (UK). Given the ever-evolving situation, little is known about the repercussions of coronavirus and the subsequent lockdowns for children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Therefore, this study explores the social-communicative impact of the first lockdown (March 2020 – July 2020) in the UK and the return to school period (September 2020 – October 2020), following prolonged disruption to routine, in children diagnosed with ASD. Methods: Parents of autistic children completed 2 separate online surveys following the first lockdown in the UK (n = 176) and also when children returned to school following the summer break (n = 54). Results: The results suggested that self-regulation skills (p < .05) and co-operation skills (p < .05) were most affected over the course of the lockdown. Children’s physical activity levels were perceived to significantly increase during the return to school (p < .0001), which was associated with better social-communication outcomes (p < .05). Conclusion: Future work is needed to confirm and explore the findings. Such work could be implemented to protect and improve the social-communicative outcomes of autistic children.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
Faculty of Science and Health > Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences, School of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 02 Jul 2021 08:07
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2021 09:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/30685

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