COVID-19 has impacted families across the world. Besides the huge task of keeping their children and themselves healthy, families had more responsibilities such as supporting their children’s learning at home when they could not go to school. We asked 457 parents of children with disabilities about their knowledge, beliefs, and needs during the first few months of the pandemic. The parents reported a decrease in formal supports available to them. They also reported a decrease in being able to access informal supports. The parents stated concerns about the health and well-being of their families, the loss of jobs and income, delays and changes in special education services, and lack of technology to access special education from home. Their highest need was education for their children, followed by a need for family supports. High anxiety levels were also reported by most parents.

Plain Language Summary

Families have many needs as a result of COVID-19. We wanted to find out about the needs of families with children with disabilities. We did a national survey and 457 families completed it. The families reported a decrease in the amount of services and supports they were receiving because of COVID-19. They reported being most concerned about their child's education and health. Most families reported high anxiety.