Survey 4: Access to Education, Therapies, and Services during COVID-19

By: Wendy Chung, M.D., Ph.D., Principal Investigator of Simons Searchlight

While we move into the next phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, with vaccinations rolling out and the potential for a return to normalcy, we are cautiously optimistic. Caregivers continue to provide insight into how they and their dependents navigate transitions in their daily lives. Once again, we appreciate your continued participation in our COVID-19 surveys. This information would not be available to the Simons Searchlight community without you!

Our findings are summarized below. The document may be downloaded as a picture (PNG) or as a printer-friendly document (PDF).

What did we find in survey 4?

We found that fewer caregivers reported disruptions to services, therapies, or medical supports at the time of this survey (November 2020). ABA, physical, or occupational therapies were more often provided in-person, but other services were more often provided as remote or a combination of remote and in-person.

Most dependents had an individualized education program (IEP) to outline the special education instruction, supports, and services they need to thrive in school. About one-half of caregivers reported delays in developing or updating their dependent’s IEP, and the majority of schools had trouble implementing IEPs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Parent and guardian updates

Most caregivers reported that they were still working remotely in late 2020. For caregivers with a change in employment status, the majority said that they were coping well with the change. Fewer caregivers reported feeling stressed or overwhelmed by the disruption in services or medical supports as compared to survey 2, which was completed in late spring 2020. Finally, about one-half of caregivers reported feeling hopeful some or most of the time.

Survey 1 summary “Impact of COVID-19 on Therapies, Services, and Medical Supports” can be found here.

Survey 2 summary “Impact of COVID-19 on Medical Supports and Caregiver Mental Health” can be found here.

Survey 3 summary “Development and Mental Health during COVID-19” can be found here.

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