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Indian Journal of Health and Wellbeing ; 13(3):301-306, 2022.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-2057989

ABSTRACT

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurological disability that lasts a lifetime. Children with ASD (CASD) exhibit impairment in communication and social relations, as well as repetitive and restricted behavioral issues. CASD may have major challenges and show disruptive behaviors when their routines are altered, which may negatively influence the mental health of primary caregivers, particularly mothers. As part of the COVID-19 protocol, the closure of training facilities and schools, social isolation, and lack of support may interfere with the CASD's everyday activities, increase their caregivers' burden, and negatively impact their mental well-being and the development of the CASD. Mothers may experience psychological distress such as depression, anxiety, and stress since they do not know how to handle the problem without professional support, which is inaccessible due to pandemic protocol. This research designed to assess the psychological distress of mothers of CASD (MCASD) during the COVID-19 epidemic, in Kerala, India. The researchers used the DASS-21 scale to measure depression, anxiety, and stress in MCASD. One hundred MCASD who accompanied their children to autism training centers and special schools in Kerala were recruited using purposive sampling and employed a cross-sectional design. According to the current study tindings, 89%, 83%, and 90% of mothers of children with ASD experience depression, anxiety, and stress, respectively. Our research shows that after several months from the COVID-19 pandemic breakout, mothers of children with ASD continue to experience severe psychological distress. Therefore, it is critical to pay special attention to these mothers' mental health and implement a viable intervention program to effectively face challenges and cope with stressors while caring for their children with ASD.

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