J Pediatr Health Care. 2023 Jan 11:S0891-5245(22)00346-7. doi: 10.1016/j.pedhc.2022.11.011. Online ahead of print.
INTRODUCTION: The COVID-19 pandemic brought unprecedented challenges for youth with neurodevelopmental disabilities (NDD) and their families. Although health measures were implemented to contain the COVID-19 virus, they disrupted public service, profoundly impacting youth and their families’ access to services. This study sought to better understand the perspectives and experiences of parents and caregivers of youth with NDD across Canada in accessing services and their mental health needs during the pandemic.
METHOD: The study used a qualitative research design in which we interviewed 40 parents and caregivers across Canada.
RESULTS: The results enabled us to understand the impact of service disruptions in significant areas of life, including health, education, employment, and risk mitigation.
DISCUSSION: Policymakers must consider a disability-inclusive lens during public health emergency planning and response to reduce the disproportionate impacts faced by youth with NDD and their families.
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