The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented changes in every aspect of our lives. For individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), who often have increased behavioral symptoms with changes in routine, the pandemic has been deeply disruptive to their lives in ways that go beyond access to care.
In a compelling video from the recent Autism Tree Project Foundation Global Neuroscience Conference, Doris Trauner, MD, shares the impacts felt by both children with autism and their caregivers based on findings from studies done around the globe. She also discusses data gathered from families enrolling in a clinical trial on the use of cannabidiol to treat problem behaviors in children with severe autism. The families were asked to complete a health impact survey about how the pandemic has impacted their child’s behavior and education as well as their family dynamics. Most children were reported to have been impacted negatively overall. Dr. Trauner suggests ways we can support these children moving forward as well as some big picture lessons we can take with us into the future.