The Turkish Journal of Pediatrics 2021 , Vol 63 , Num 4
Effects of lockdown during corona pandemic on children with neurodevelopmental disorders-A questionnaire-based survey
Jyotindra Narayan Goswami 1 ,Vishal Sondhi 2 ,Ashish Kumar Simalti 3 ,Manu Bamal 1 ,Shuvendu Roy 4
1 Department of Pediatrics, Army Hospital (Research & Referral), New Delhi
2 Department of Pediatrics, Armed Forces Medical College, Pune
3 Department of Pediatrics, MH Dehradun, Uttarakhand
4 Department of Pediatrics, Command Hospital (EC), Kolkata, India
DOI : 10.24953/turkjped.2021.04.012 Background. Lockdown due to Corona pandemic is an unprecedented event, which has had a profound impact on the lives of children across all ages. Its effects on children with Neurodevelopmental Disorders (NDD) has not been adequately studied. This study was performed in order to explore the effects of lockdown during the Corona pandemic on children with NDD and their parents.

Methods. The survey was conducted in three Indian tertiary-care hospitals wherein parents of children with NDD were requested to respond to an online questionnaire. The questions attempted to elicit various aspects of the children`s therapies and behavioural profiles as well as their parents` experiences during the pandemic related lockdown.

Results. 135/188 (71.8%) parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)(n=104), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) (n=26) and Learning Disability (LD)(n=5) responded. Pre-lockdown, 133 (99%) children were receiving regular institution-based therapy, which ceased intra-lockdown. Mean cumulative home-based therapy duration significantly increased during lockdown (p=0.03). Parents reported significantly increased temper tantrums in children (p=0.02). They perceived that during lockdown, their children were bored and their interactions and speech worsened. Majority of parents reported worsening of own qualities of life, but felt confident of taking care of their children during lockdown.

Conclusions. To conclude, children with NDD and their parents were significantly affected by Corona pandemicrelated lockdown. Institutional therapy discontinuation, behavioural deterioration (especially among ASD and ADHD) and parental stress were prominent challenges whereas parental motivation and reliance on homebased therapy were the positive highlights. The survey points to the role of regular parent-administered homebased therapy in children with NDD, especially to tide over similar unexpected adverse scenarios. Keywords : corona pandemic, COVID-19, lockdown, neurodevelopmental disorders

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