Isensee C, Schmid B, Marschik PB, Zhang D, Poustka L
Res Dev Disabil 129 (-) 104307 [2022-07-11; online 2022-07-11]
The current SARS-CoV-2 global pandemic presents a great challenge for governments, health care professionals and the general population. Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) might be especially vulnerable to restrictions imposed by the crisis. The objective of the study was to examine the impact of the SARSCoV- 2 pandemic on children with ASD and their families. We conducted an online survey two months after the beginning of lock-down (18th of May to 5th of July 2020) in Germany and Austria. We investigated behavioral and emotional changes of children related to the lock-down alongside parental stress and intrafamilial burden OUTCOME AND RESULTS: Of the 216 participating families with an autistic child (mean age: 12.23 years), nearly 50% reported aggravation of autistic symptoms and heightened parental stress. Families reported discontinuation of therapy, more intrafamilial conflicts and increase of psychopharmacological medication of the child. Our report on short-term detrimental effects of the pandemic calls for thorough investigation of long-term sequalae for children and families.