An Integrated Knowledge Approach to Communicating the Impact of COVID-19 on the Mental Health and Well-Being of Caregivers and Available Resources for Families Living with Autism
Families (i.e. siblings) with children and adolescents with autism often experience demanding stressors and distress associated with providing care to their family member with autism. Distancing requirements imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic have halted many of the programs that parents rely on for respite and support (e.g. interventions, day programs, schools, adapted recreation and leisure, etc.). This means parents have little or no assistance outside of the family to care for their child with autism. In this project, I aim to better understand what has been documented regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on caregiver and family functioning and identify the supportive programs that have emerged as a result. I will partner with Autism Ontario to create a lay summary report of these findings, and through our collaboration communicate the information to key knowledge users (i.e. clinicians, researchers) and families so that we can better support the mental health needs of families living with autism during this crisis.