The aim of this study is to inform our understanding of the impact of service disruption during the Covid pandemic on the mental health and wellbeing for Autistic Young Adults. We also hope to identify what supports are most needed at this time. With the COVID-19 pandemic, those with existing vulnerabilities including Autistic young adults had to deal with the withdrawal of health and social care supports, while others were replaced by online interactions. Research confirms that Autistic individuals report higher levels of mental health conditions, most notably, anxiety and depression and also may experience a lower quality of life relative to their non-Autistic peers (Lugnega et al, 2011). Thus, given that supports have been withdrawn, curtailed, or moved online during COVID-19, these are likely to have had a negative impact on their health . Moreover, given that the public health restrictions are still in place, and health services are unlikely to resume to full capacity any time soon the implications of this research extends to urgent recommendations for policy and services providers. We are also cognisant of the many other challenges that the Covid 19 pandemic have brought for Autistic people, such as reduced social interaction, isolation, loneliness, changes in daily structure and routine and chronic uncertainty. We expect that certain alternative or online interactions such as telephone or online calling may not be suitable to all, due to anxiety around speaking on the telephone and communicating online while not being able to visually see the person that you are talking to. We would like to extend our understanding of these factors for young autistic adults during this Covid pandemic and into the future also.
Published on: Apr 5, 2021 at 15:48