An article written by Dr. Vanitha Rao- Technical Advisory Board- The Serrendip
The Impact of the Pandemic on Children with Autism in Bangalore
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Vanitha S Rao
Director & Autism Consultant, Sunshine Autism Trust , 280, 6th Cross, Domlur Layout, Bangalore-560071 Consultant, Special Education & Neurocognition Centre for Advanced Research & Excellence in Autism & Developmental Disorders (CARE ADD) St. John’s National Academy of Health Sciences, Bangalore
The COVID-19 pandemic and resultant lockdown disrupted life for the entire population. This disruption has been particularly stressful for the autism population, who need structure and routine to regulate their daily lives. This paper uses case vignettes from an early intervention centre to highlight the challenges faced by children on the autism spectrum. Observations suggest that the disruptions in routine and therapy services led to increased sleep difficulties, behavioural challenges and also affected language development for these children. Some suggestions to ameliorate the situation are discussed and the need for taking this learning forward is underscored.