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1.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(19)2022 Sep 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2065955

ABSTRACT

Raising and caring for a child with ASD is a challenge for the parents' marriage relationship. Caring for a disabled child changes the functioning of the family and requires greater involvement in care and specialist therapy. The respondents' answers show that such parents experience higher levels of stress related to the upbringing and future of the child. However, parenting challenges need not be a negative experience if the parents support each other. The process of bringing up children in the family are related, inter alia, to the quality of their parents 'marriage, which is influenced by the partners' personal resources. The resilience of the partners and coping with this situation contribute to marital satisfaction. The aim of the study is to find out about the relationship between spouses' resilience and coping styles and their assessment of marriage satisfaction. In total, 50 married couples participated in the study-50 mothers of children with ASD and 50 fathers, the partners of these mothers (N = 100). The following tools were used: the Resilience Scale (SPP-25), the Coping Inventory for Stressful Situations (CISS) and the Well-Matched Marriage Questionnaire (KDM-2), as well as a survey questionnaire (data on respondents). The results show that the gender of the parent of a child with ASD does not differentiate the overall assessment of the quality of marriage (the overall score on the scale indicates a low level of satisfaction with the relationship). When analyzing in detail the dimensions of individual scales of satisfaction with the relationship, one statistically significant difference was noted for the sex of the respondents in the disappointment dimension, showing that the level of disappointment in the quality of the relationship is higher in wives than in husbands. In the other dimensions of satisfaction with marriage: intimacy, personal fulfillment, similarity, there were no statistically significant differences in terms of gender of the respondents. The resilience of the spouses positively correlates with their assessment of marriage satisfaction, and in particular, openness, perseverance and determination to act increase the level of Task-oriented coping (SSZ) with difficult situations. All resilience factors negatively correlate with the emotional coping style (SSE). In both the studied groups, openness is a significant predictor of intimacy, and persistence is a predictor of self-fulfilment in a relationship. A predictor of disappointment in women is managing using substitute activities (ACZ), while in men it is the Emotion-oriented coping (SSE) style. The results indicate the need to support married couples raising a child with ASD during the pandemic.


Subject(s)
Autism Spectrum Disorder , COVID-19 , Adaptation, Psychological , Autism Spectrum Disorder/psychology , Child , Female , Humans , Male , Marriage/psychology , Pandemics , Parenting/psychology , Personal Satisfaction , Spouses/psychology
2.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(19)2022 Sep 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2043703

ABSTRACT

The main goal of our research was to monitor changes in the mental health of Slovak families with children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) compared to families with neurotypical children during three waves of the COVID-19 pandemic. We focused on the prevalence of depression, anxiety, stress and different stressors of parents. In children, we explored maladaptive behavior and the availability of interventions for children with ASD. The data were collected using an extensive questionnaire including the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale-42 questionnaire (DASS-42) and two subscales of the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales (VABS-3). The research sample consisted of a total of 506 parents, 236 of whom have a child with ASD. Parents of children with ASD reported elevated anxiety during the first wave, while changes were found in parents of neurotypical children. During the second wave, the prevalence of anxiety, depression and stress experienced by parents in both groups increased, but significantly more in parents with ASD children. The internalizing maladaptive behavior of children with ASD also increased. During the third wave, no significant differences between the groups of parents were found in stress and anxiety, but parents of ASD children scored higher in depression. Externalized maladaptive behavior of neurotypical children increased, with minimal changes in children with ASD, which can be explained by the improved therapy availability for children with ASD, also observed in our study.


Subject(s)
Autism Spectrum Disorder , COVID-19 , Autism Spectrum Disorder/epidemiology , Autism Spectrum Disorder/psychology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Humans , Mental Health , Pandemics , Slovakia/epidemiology
3.
BMC Psychiatry ; 22(1): 608, 2022 09 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2029699

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The public health measures enacted in order to control the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic have caused considerable changes to daily life. For autistic children and adolescents, adapting to the "new normal," including mask-wearing, may be difficult because of their restricted interest and repetitive behavior (RRB) characteristics. We aimed to examine the relationships between RRB characteristics and the impact of mask-wearing on their social communications during the pandemic. METHODS: We recruited participants with a clinical diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder based on DSM-5 diagnostic criteria from two outpatient clinics in Tokyo, Japan, between November 2020 and April 2021 using a convenience sampling methodology. As a result, the participants consisted of 102 children and adolescents (mean (SD) age = 11.6 (5.3)). We collected data on RRB characteristics frequency before and during the pandemic using the CoRonavIruS Health Impact Survey (CRISIS) - Adapted for Autism and Related Neurodevelopmental conditions (AFAR). We then conducted factor analyses to compute the RRB severity composite scores, which are divided into lower- (e.g., sensory seeking), and higher-order (e.g., restricted interest). We also investigated mask-wearing culture using a bespoke questionnaire, and using Spearman's rank correlation analyses, we examined the relationships between before pandemic RRB characteristics, and the impact of mask-wearing on social communications during the pandemic. RESULTS: We found that children and adolescents who exhibited lower-order RRB before the pandemic had difficulties in going-out with mask-wearing (rho = -0.25, q = .031), more challenges with mask-wearing (rho = - 0.34, q = .0018), and difficulty in referring to others' emotions while wearing masks (rho = - 0.36, q = .0016). We also found an association between higher-order RRB before the pandemic and an uncomfortable sensation (rho = - 0.42, q = .0002) and difficulties in referring to other's emotions while wearing masks (rho = - 0.25, q = .031). CONCLUSIONS: We revealed that various behaviors, such as sensory seeking, repetitive motor mannerisms and movements, and rituals and routines, undertaken before the pandemic could be important predictors of difficulties with mask-wearing and social communication for autistic children and adolescents during the pandemic. Caregivers and teachers wearing masks may need to provide extra support for social communication to autistic children and adolescents showing RRB characteristics frequently.


Subject(s)
Autism Spectrum Disorder , Autistic Disorder , COVID-19 , Adolescent , Autism Spectrum Disorder/psychology , Autistic Disorder/psychology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Humans , Pandemics , Social Cognition , Surveys and Questionnaires
4.
Autism ; 26(6): 1436-1450, 2022 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2009302

ABSTRACT

LAY ABSTRACT: Adolescents with autism spectrum disorder are at an increased risk of unhealthy eating behaviors and obesity compared to their typically developing peers. Many nutrition interventions for this population focus on improving autism spectrum disorder symptoms or managing weight rather than addressing participants' healthy eating self-efficacy. The purpose of this study was to examine a virtual implementation of a new intervention for adolescents with autism spectrum disorder, Bringing Adolescent Learners with Autism Nutrition and Culinary Education. We used fidelity checklists, engagement records, and field notes to measure implementation. We also examined the feasibility of assessing outcome measures, including a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ), psychosocial survey, height, and weight. We recruited adolescents with autism spectrum disorder aged 12-21 years. Six groups of 2-7 adolescents (27 total) participated in the intervention and pre-/post-intervention measurements. Bringing Adolescent Learners with Autism Nutrition and Culinary Education consisted of eight weekly lessons: exploring taste, flavor, and texture; mealtimes and rules; food groups and nutrients; moderation; beverages; cooking; well-being; sustaining healthy eating habits. The virtual implementation was feasible based on lesson attendance, participation, homework completion, fidelity, and prevalence of technical difficulties. Evaluation was also feasible based on response rate, completion, and data quality for the food frequency questionnaire, psychosocial survey, and height and weight measurements. Bringing Adolescent Learners with Autism Nutrition and Culinary Education may be used in virtual settings to reach diverse populations of adolescents with autism spectrum disorder. Future research is needed to evaluate the impact of Bringing Adolescent Learners with Autism Nutrition and Culinary Education on dietary behavior and obesity outcomes.


Subject(s)
Autism Spectrum Disorder , Adolescent , Autism Spectrum Disorder/psychology , Diet, Healthy , Feasibility Studies , Feeding Behavior , Humans , Obesity
5.
Res Dev Disabil ; 129: 104307, 2022 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1983907

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: 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. AIM: The objective of the study was to examine the impact of the SARSCoV- 2 pandemic on children with ASD and their families. METHODS AND PROCEDURES: 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. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: Our report on short-term detrimental effects of the pandemic calls for thorough investigation of long-term sequalae for children and families.


Subject(s)
Autism Spectrum Disorder , Autistic Disorder , COVID-19 , Autism Spectrum Disorder/epidemiology , Autism Spectrum Disorder/psychology , Autistic Disorder/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(15)2022 08 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1969264

ABSTRACT

Due to their individual developmental and learning needs, adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) benefit from a variety of educational, medical, and therapeutic services. During the COVID-19 pandemic, these services were discontinued or significantly reduced, which may have resulted in increased difficulties in coping with various areas of life. The purpose of this study was to explore how the pandemic affected the psychosocial and educational functioning of students with ASD. A qualitative, problem-focused interview method was used. The obtained material was subjected to interpretive phenomenological analysis. The study involved 10 secondary school students diagnosed with ASD. The assessment of the effects of the pandemic on the functioning of people with ASD is inconclusive. The respondents noted both negative and positive effects of lockdown. On the positive side, they were able to spend time with their family, isolate themselves from difficult social relationships and feel better. Among the negative effects, adolescents point to difficulties in emotional functioning-increased levels of stress and anxiety, as well as increased feelings of loneliness and difficulties with online education. The study showed the varied experiences of young people with autism during the pandemic, highlighting the significant need to support some of them in terms of their emotional, social and educational functioning.


Subject(s)
Autism Spectrum Disorder , COVID-19 , Adolescent , Autism Spectrum Disorder/epidemiology , Autism Spectrum Disorder/psychology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Pandemics , Poland/epidemiology , Psychosocial Functioning , Students/psychology
7.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(11)2022 05 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1892867

ABSTRACT

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has become more prevalent globally. The disorder is predominantly characterised by low social skills noted explicitly in people with High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder (HFASD). The individuals usually possess a normal or superior intelligence quotient (IQ) but the disability impedes the achievement of their actual high potential, hence compromising their quality of life (QoL). Managing adversities encountered by children with HFASD often compromises the QoL of the entire family. Thus, this study aimed to identify specific domains of QoL among mothers of high-functioning autistic adolescents. The study assessed seven mothers of adolescents with HFASD using a semi-structured interview format. A thematic qualitative analysis was conducted to analyse the data. The results suggested that mothers perceived their QoL based on physical and emotional well-being, material well-being, interpersonal relationship, and environmental well-being. Intervention for HFASD is multidisciplinary, which targets a broad spectrum of symptoms and skills deficits and customises the programme to meet each individual's different needs. Nonetheless, intervention facilities in Malaysia are seriously limited, particularly in supporting QoL for children with HFASD. Therefore, by identifying the domains of QoL would improve the mothers' resilience in raising their children with HFASD.


Subject(s)
Autism Spectrum Disorder , Autistic Disorder , Adolescent , Autism Spectrum Disorder/psychology , Child , Female , Humans , Mothers , Quality of Life/psychology , Social Skills
8.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(9)2022 04 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1855585

ABSTRACT

Disruption in routine may be related to experiencing negative emotional states and to aggressive behaviors in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The lockdown because of COVID-19 contributed to the disruption of individuals' routines, including the sleep-wake cycle. The current study tested a relationship between the adherence to the sleep-wake routine and aggressive behaviors via the mediation role of negative emotional states (i.e., anxiety and anger). Forty-three parents of adults with ASD completed a web-based questionnaire about their life condition during the first lockdown (April-May 2020). Preliminary analyses showed a worsening in the adults' aggressive behaviors during the lockdown in comparison to before it (Z = -3.130; p = 0.002). In the mediation models, the relationship between the adherence to the sleep-wake routines and aggressive behaviors was significant. The models showed the hypothesized mediated relationships among the adherence to the sleep-wake routines, negative emotional states, and aggressive behaviors (Model 1: F (1, 41) = 10.478, p < 0.001; Model 2: F(1, 41) = 9.826, p = 0.003). The findings confirmed the potential protective role of the adherence to the sleep-wake routines for the emotional and behavioral adjustment of adults with autism. Theoretical and practical contributions of the study were discussed; indeed, our results may inform parent-coaching as well as intervention programs for individuals with ASD given that adequate sleep hygiene may contribute to improvements in internalizing/externalizing behaviors.


Subject(s)
Autism Spectrum Disorder , COVID-19 , Sleep Wake Disorders , Adult , Autism Spectrum Disorder/epidemiology , Autism Spectrum Disorder/psychology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Disease Outbreaks , Humans , Sleep , Sleep Wake Disorders/epidemiology
9.
Autism ; 26(3): 640-653, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1759642

ABSTRACT

LAY ABSTRACT: Cognitive behavioral therapy helps to treat anxiety symptoms in autistic youth, but it is difficult for families to access cognitive behavioral therapy in the community. Training school providers to deliver cognitive behavioral therapy may help autistic youth and their families to access these programs. Unfortunately, we do not know how cognitive behavioral therapy programs can be delivered by school providers and how these programs help the autistic students who access them. This study addressed this gap and was part of a larger study that looked at the effectiveness of Facing Your Fears-School-Based in 25 public schools. The study goals were to understand whether Facing Your Fears-School-Based helped students and the factors that made it easy or difficult to deliver Facing Your Fears-School-Based in schools. Thirty providers participated in interviews guided by the Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation, and Maintenance framework. Participants shared information that fell into several major categories that included (1) delivering Facing Your Fears-School-Based to many different students; (2) the positive impact of Facing Your Fears-School-Based on students' school participation; and (3) plans to continue using Facing Your Fears-School-Based. School providers also shared that Facing Your Fears-School-Based was easy to use for non-mental health providers and reported adapting Facing Your Fears-School-Based to meet student needs. The results of this study suggest that Facing Your Fears-School-Based may help autistic students and highlight the importance of using mental health programs in schools that are flexible, able to be adapted, and that are able to be used by many different types of school providers.


Subject(s)
Autism Spectrum Disorder , Autistic Disorder , Cognitive Behavioral Therapy , Adolescent , Anxiety/psychology , Anxiety/therapy , Autism Spectrum Disorder/psychology , Autism Spectrum Disorder/therapy , Autistic Disorder/therapy , Cognitive Behavioral Therapy/methods , Humans , Students
10.
Rev Neurol ; 74(6): 181-188, 2022 03 16.
Article in Spanish | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1743201

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The state of emergency and national lockdown declared in Spain over the coronavirus pandemic markedly impaired routines and access towards health services supports for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This population is of particular vulnerability towards sudden changes and is distinguished by their complex management. OBJECTIVES: The main goal was to qualitatively assess the psychosocial and mental state of children diagnosed with ASD affiliated to the Hospital Clinic de Barcelona, during and after the first lockdown period. PATIENTS AND METHODS: A survey was administered to relatives of 65 boys and girls with a main diagnosis of ASD. RESULTS: A worsening of key A symptoms was reported during lockdown. In addition, the use of new technologies, intake between meals, and anxiety symptoms increased. Recovery after lockdown was not complete in our sample. CONCLUSIONS: These results highlight the need for planning specific supports for minors with ASD and for resources to reverse the effects on routines, habits, and school returnal.


TITLE: Análisis del impacto de la COVID-19 en menores de edad con trastorno del espectro autista.Introducción. La declaración del confinamiento domiciliario a raíz de la pandemia de la COVID-19 alteró profundamente las rutinas y el acceso a soportes sociosanitarios en menores de edad con trastorno del espectro autista (TEA). Esta población se distingue por su elevada complejidad de manejo y vulnerabilidad ante cambios. Objetivos. Evaluar cualitativamente el estado psicosocial en menores con TEA atendidos en el Hospital Clínic de Barcelona durante el confinamiento y pasado éste. Pacientes y métodos. Se administró una encuesta, elaborada específicamente para este estudio, a los cuidadores principales de 65 niños y niñas con diagnóstico principal de TEA. Resultados. Se observó una regresión en la sintomatología nuclear del TEA. Además, aumentó el uso de nuevas tecnologías y la ingesta entre comidas, y apareció una sintomatología ansiosa. La recuperación tras el confinamiento no fue total en nuestra muestra. Conclusiones. Los resultados ponen de relieve la necesidad de planificación de soportes específicos para los menores con TEA y de recursos para revertir las afectaciones en las rutinas, los hábitos y la incorporación escolar.


Subject(s)
Autism Spectrum Disorder/psychology , COVID-19 , Quarantine/psychology , Child , Female , Humans , Male , Spain
11.
Res Dev Disabil ; 124: 104200, 2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1740159

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Considering the fact that family members necessarily spend more time together during the pandemic, this study aims to reveal the perceptions of parents with children who have autism spectrum disorder of the COVID-19 pandemic in Turkey and their experiences of the difficulties during the pandemic. METHOD: A qualitative phenomenology design was used in the study. Seven mothers and one father gave their consent and participated in the study. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews and analyzed using content analysis. RESULTS: The results of the analysis were collected in two broad themes using 68 codes. The perspective of the parents, who evaluated the pandemic process positively in the beginning, became negative as lockdown lengthened. The issues and adverse effects of the pandemic that they most talked about were the increasing roles and responsibilities of parents, the deep impact on their mental health, and the problems experienced in distance education. CONCLUSIONS: During this period, parents who were psychologically depressed wanted to feel that they were not alone. Parents made many suggestions and recommendations so that others would not have the same experience.


Subject(s)
Autism Spectrum Disorder , COVID-19 , Autism Spectrum Disorder/epidemiology , Autism Spectrum Disorder/psychology , Child , Communicable Disease Control , Female , Humans , Pandemics , Parenting/psychology , Parents/psychology
12.
Child Care Health Dev ; 48(6): 1008-1016, 2022 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1731111

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) remain vulnerable during the Covid-19 outbreak due to significant changes to their daily routines, social interactions and diets. In addition, these challenges may be exacerbated for children living in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) such as South Africa where there are already barriers such as poverty, access to resources and availability of support. Understanding the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on children with ASD is imperative in order to create awareness as well as provide equitable services and support to both children with ASD and their families. PURPOSE: The study aimed to explore family-reported changes for children with ASD and their reactions and responses to the Covid-19 restrictions in South Africa. METHOD: A qualitative research design was employed. Twelve families consisting of different family compositions with a total of 21 family members (mothers, fathers and grandmothers) participated in the current study using semistructured interviews. Data were transcribed and analysed using a framework method for thematic analysis. RESULTS: Findings indicated that children with ASD present with unique challenges related to Covid-19. Negative themes such as children's obstructive reactions due to the immediate changes to their routines, increases in emotional dysregulation as well as loss of previously acquired skills as a result of lack of access to services during lockdown were reported. However, families also reported on positive changes such as improved social interactions as children became more accustomed to their new lockdown routines. IMPLICATIONS: The Covid-19 response has had a negative impact on children with disabilities, specifically around access to services and support for both children with ASD and their families. While the future of the virus and impending lockdown measures is unknown, clinicians, providers and educators need to ensure that provisions are made for children's current adjustments as well as further adjustments to their current routines both during and after the pandemic.


Subject(s)
Autism Spectrum Disorder , COVID-19 , Autism Spectrum Disorder/epidemiology , Autism Spectrum Disorder/psychology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Communicable Disease Control , Female , Humans , Mothers/psychology , South Africa/epidemiology
13.
J Autism Dev Disord ; 52(12): 5383-5394, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1588769

ABSTRACT

Interest in telehealth assessment for autism has increased due to COVID-19 and subsequent expansion of remote psychological services, though options that are easy for clinicians to adopt and available through the lifespan are limited. The Brief Observation of Symptoms of Autism (BOSA) provides a social context with standardized materials and activities that can be coded by clinicians trained in the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule. The current project examined psychometric properties to determine optimal use for each BOSA version. Three hundred and seven participants with 453 BOSAs were included to determine best performing items for algorithms, validity, sensitivity, specificity, recommended cut-offs, and proposed ranges of concern. While preliminary, the BOSA provides a promising new option for telehealth-administered assessment for autism.


Subject(s)
Autism Spectrum Disorder , Autistic Disorder , COVID-19 , Telemedicine , Humans , Autistic Disorder/diagnosis , Autistic Disorder/psychology , Autism Spectrum Disorder/diagnosis , Autism Spectrum Disorder/psychology , Reproducibility of Results
14.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 22655, 2021 11 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1528028

ABSTRACT

Psychological and mental health consequences of large-scale anti-contagion policies are assuming strong relevance in the COVID-19 pandemic. We proposed a specific focus on a large sample of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), developing an ad hoc instrument to investigate changes occurred in specific (sub-)domains during a period of national lockdown (Italy). Our questionnaire, named AutiStress, is both context-specific (being set in the COVID-19 pandemic scenario) and condition-specific (being structured taking into account the autistic functioning peculiarities in the paediatric age). An age- and gender-matched group of neurotypical (TD) controls was also provided. As expected, the severe lockdown policies had a general negative impact both on ASD and TD children, reflecting the obvious burden of the pandemic situation. However, our findings also indicate that children with ASD experienced more positive changes than TD ones. Noteworthy, we report a thought-provoking double dissociation in the context-specific predictor (i.e., accessibility to private outdoor spaces), indicating that it impacts differently on the two groups. Focusing on the ASD group, results suggest a condition-specific impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on core autistic (sub-)domains. Taken together, our data call for a multi-layered, context- and condition-specific analysis of the pandemic burden beyond any oversimplification.


Subject(s)
Autism Spectrum Disorder/psychology , COVID-19/psychology , Affect/physiology , Age Factors , Autism Spectrum Disorder/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Humans , Italy , Male , Mental Health , Pandemics , Quarantine/psychology , Surveys and Questionnaires
15.
J Psychiatr Res ; 149: 344-351, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1510064

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The Covid-19 pandemic had a strong impact on mental health in the general population. This study conducted during the first lockdown in France considered parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) prospectively followed in the ELENA Cohort. OBJECTIVES: We aimed to (1) compare the Anxiety and Depression (AaD) levels during the lockdown between mothers and fathers, (2) compare the parent's AaD between the lockdown and the last ELENA follow-up visit, and (3) identify risk factors for parental AaD during lockdown among socio-demographic and children's clinical characteristics. METHODS: The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) was used to assess AaD in 134 parent's pairs. Parents also completed the Questionnaire about their living conditions during COVID-19, their child's interventions and perceived changes about their child's behaviors and sleep. Child's ASD severity, intellectual and socio-adaptive skills and parent's socio-demographic characteristics were collected from ELENA follow-up. RESULTS: The parents' AaD levels were lower during the lockdown compared to the last ELENA visit that coincided in 96% with the child's ASD diagnosis. The AaD levels were more pronounced in mothers and significantly associated with the child's challenging behaviors, parents' teleworking and perceived knowledge about COVID-19. The perception of an insufficient knowledge was the only risk factor for mothers' AaD. CONCLUSION: Our findings highlighted the pertinence for an assessment of the mental health of main caregivers of children with ASD, consideration of their gender characteristics, and the importance of providing relevant information during pandemic. Future studies examining the pandemic long-term effects are needed. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: NCT02625116.


Subject(s)
Autism Spectrum Disorder , COVID-19 , Anxiety/etiology , Autism Spectrum Disorder/epidemiology , Autism Spectrum Disorder/psychology , Child , Communicable Disease Control , Depression/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Pandemics , Parents/psychology
16.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 21342, 2021 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1493216

ABSTRACT

Community-wide lockdowns in response to COVID-19 influenced many families, but the developmental cascade for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may be especially detrimental. Our objective was to evaluate behavioral patterns of risk and resilience for children with ASD across parent-report assessments before (from November 2019 to February 2020), during (March 2020 to May 2020), and after (June 2020 to November 2020) an extended COVID-19 lockdown. In 2020, our study Mobile-based care for children with ASD using remote experience sampling method (mCARE) was inactive data collection before COVID-19 emerged as a health crisis in Bangladesh. Here we deployed "Cohort Studies", where we had in total 300 children with ASD (150 test group and 150 control group) to collect behavioral data. Our data collection continued through an extended COVID-19 lockdown and captured parent reports of 30 different behavioral parameters (e.g., self-injurious behaviors, aggression, sleep problems, daily living skills, and communication) across 150 children with ASD (test group). Based on the children's condition, 4-6 behavioral parameters were assessed through the study. A total of 56,290 behavioral data points was collected (an average of 152.19 per week) from parent cell phones using the mCARE platform. Children and their families were exposed to an extended COVID-19 lockdown. The main outcomes used for this study were generated from parent reports child behaviors within the mCARE platform. Behaviors included of child social skills, communication use, problematic behaviors, sensory sensitivities, daily living, and play. COVID-19 lockdowns for children with autism and their families are not universally negative but supports in the areas of "Problematic Behavior" could serve to mitigate future risk.


Subject(s)
Autism Spectrum Disorder/psychology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cell Phone Use , Child Behavior/psychology , Child Care/methods , Quarantine/psychology , SARS-CoV-2 , Activities of Daily Living , Aggression , Autism Spectrum Disorder/epidemiology , Bangladesh/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Child , Child, Preschool , Cohort Studies , Communication , Female , Humans , Male , Self-Injurious Behavior/psychology , Sleep , Social Skills
17.
Autism ; 26(5): 1046-1055, 2022 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1470602

ABSTRACT

LAY ABSTRACT: A global pandemic caused by a new coronavirus (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) affected everyday lives of all people, including individuals with special needs, such as autism spectrum disorder. The aim of this research was to compare the mental health of families with children with autism spectrum disorder to families with typically developing children, and between the first and the second wave of COVID-19 outbreak in Slovakia. This mainly included symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress of parents and problem behavior or sleeping difficulties of their children. The research sample consisted of 332 parents (155 of which have children with autism spectrum disorder), 179 surveyed during the first wave and 153 during the second wave. Online parent questionnaire was created, including demographic and specific topic questions, Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale-42 questionnaire, and internalizing and externalizing maladaptive behavior subscales from Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales. Our results show that during the first wave, parents of autism spectrum disorder children suffered high levels of anxiety. During the second wave, both groups of parents suffered increased anxiety, stress, and depression, but especially severe for parents of children with autism spectrum disorder. Internalizing maladaptive behavior of autistic children grew significantly between the waves. Parental depression, anxiety, and stress were interconnected with maladaptive behavior of both autism spectrum disorder and typically developing children, suggesting the importance of the therapy options for whole families.


Subject(s)
Autism Spectrum Disorder , COVID-19 , Mental Health , Quarantine , Autism Spectrum Disorder/psychology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Child , Humans , Parents/psychology , Quarantine/psychology , Slovakia/epidemiology
18.
J Appl Behav Anal ; 54(2): 582-599, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1384186

ABSTRACT

The current study taught 6 children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to increase passive compliance of wearing a facemask across sequentially increasing durations of time. A changing-criterion design embedded within a nonconcurrent multiple baseline design was used to evaluate the effectiveness of a resetting differential reinforcement of other behavior (DRO) without escape extinction procedure on passive compliance. Terminal probe sessions determined DRO fading intervals. Results showed that 2 participants acquired mastery level passive compliance (30 min) without fading during the initial baseline sessions. The remaining 4 participants acquired mastery level passive compliance following fading intervals within the DRO intervention. Participants' passive compliance generalized across 2 novel settings. This study replicates previous studies and extends empirical support for the use of DRO without escape extinction interventions for increasing passive compliance with medical devices in children with ASD.


Subject(s)
Autism Spectrum Disorder/psychology , Masks , Patient Compliance/psychology , Adolescent , COVID-19/prevention & control , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Humans , Male
20.
Medicine (Baltimore) ; 100(22): e26233, 2021 Jun 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1258819

ABSTRACT

RATIONALE: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is affecting mental health profoundly. Previous studies have reported pandemic-related anxiety. Anxiety disorder and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are common comorbidities. However, there has been no report of any patient with undiagnosed ASD who developed anxiety disorders caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In this case report, we describe an 8-year-old Japanese boy with undiagnosed ASD who developed COVID-19 phobia, resulting in avoidant restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID). PATIENT CONCERNS: As COVID-19 was highly publicized in the mass media and the risk of droplet infection was emphasized upon, the patient began to fear viral contamination from food, culminating in a refusal to eat or even swallow his saliva. He was admitted to a pediatric medical center in Osaka with life-threatening dehydration and was then referred to our child psychiatry department. DIAGNOSIS: We diagnosed the patient with COVID-19 phobia resulting in ARFID. We identified ASD traits from his present social communication skills and developmental history. INTERVENTIONS: We provided psychoeducation of ASD for the parents and administered supportive psychotherapy. OUTCOMES: Shortly after our intervention to relieve his ASD-related anxiety, his dysphagia improved. LESSONS: Our findings suggest that children with undiagnosed ASD may develop COVID-19 phobia. In these cases, intervention for ASD may be more appropriate than starting treatment for anxiety disorders as the first-line option. COVID-19 is the biggest pandemic in the recent past, and more undiagnosed ASD patients who develop COVID-19 phobia may seek treatment. Clinicians should consider the underlying ASD in these patients and assess their developmental history and present social communication skills.


Subject(s)
Autism Spectrum Disorder/complications , Autism Spectrum Disorder/psychology , COVID-19/psychology , Phobic Disorders/complications , Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder , Child , Humans , Male , SARS-CoV-2
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