This briefing from the NSPCC uses insight from Childline counselling sessions and NSPCC helpline contacts to highlight the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on d/Deaf, disabled and autistic children and young people.
The key findings are:
- Coronavirus restrictions have caused disruption to young people’s routines, which has been difficult for some children to cope with and adjust to.
- Support services have been harder for young people to access during the pandemic, with services either closed or severely reduced. Where services were transferred online, some young people found it difficult to access them, due to their disability.
- Home learning has also presented several challenges for some young people, including accessibility of online lessons and reduced additional support.
- Some young people have experienced delays in being assessed for support during the pandemic.
- After returning to school, some young people found they were no longer receiving the same level of support as they had been given before lockdown.
- The pandemic conditions have put additional stress on families where a child is disabled. Some parents have struggled to cope with the demands of caring for a disabled child with reduced support. Some children have also had to care for a disabled sibling during lockdown.
- Some young people report being unfairly, and in some cases aggressively, challenged for not wearing a face covering, even though they are exempt from doing so.