The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on School-Aged Children with Fragile X Syndrome

Hailey Silver, Hilary Rosselot, Rebecca Shaffer, Reymundo Lozano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The pandemic caused by the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), beginning in early 2020, had an impact beyond anything experienced in recent history. People with Fragile X Syndrome (FXS), the leading known heritable cause of ASD and intellectual disability, were uniquely vulnerable to pandemic-related changes. This study surveyed parent perspectives of the impact on 33 school-aged children with FXS across daily living skills, education, therapies, behaviors, health visits, and mask wearing. Academic performance was perceived to have decreased in most of the children (58%). Students in online school had the most reports of decline and those in person had the most reported improvement. Parents were significantly more satisfied with services that remained in person compared to those delivered online or in hybrid settings. Additionally, depression (75%), sleep problems (80%), attention problems (73%), and social skills (61%) were reported to have worsened the most. Parents reported that in addition to continuing with a structured schedule, the most helpful strategies were increasing face-to-face social interactions and outdoor activities. Future research should explore strategies to help online interventions and education to be more successful with individuals with FXS, given this may become a resource for families not geographically able to access in-person resources.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1666
JournalGenes
Volume13
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2022

Keywords

  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • Fragile X Syndrome
  • caregiver perspectives

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