Why is Our Research Important
The restrictions in place as a result of Covid-19 have undoubtedly disrupted much of our daily lives, and have resulted in changes of routines, drastic changes in some cases. As routines are of such importance to individuals with diagnoses of Autism Spectrum Disorder, we believe that the restrictions in place have presented the community, children in particular, with unprecedented issues surrounding routines and stability. Furthermore, access to essential services for young people with ASD, including educational, psychological and social supports, and extra-curricular activities may have presented major issues to families with children with ASD with regard to maintaining routines. As such, we feel it is important both to support such families by providing a resource package during these difficult times, but also to assess the effects, that these restrictions are having and will continue to have on young people with an Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Aims of Our Research
Our research has two aims :
To provide children and young people with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder, and their parents and caregivers, with a resource to support them through the current and future Covid-19 restrictions.
To assess the stress levels of parents and caregivers as a result of the restrictions, and to assess the stress, behavioural changes, and anxiety levels of children and young people with ASD as a result.
Findings from the Project
Our reports outline some of the main findings from our anonymous, online surveys completed by parents of child(ren) with autism, looking at the present and future challenges they face as COVID-19 restrictions ease. These reports have been conducted at different time points. Findings have been used to inform the development of a needs based resource toolkit for everyone to use.
Our study has been reported on in local and national media outlets extensively such as the Irish Independent, Irish Times, The Irish Examiner, TheJournal.ie, RTE Radio 1 and Newstalk