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Experiences of children with special educational needs and disabilities and their families in the United Kingdom during the coronavirus pandemic

Brian O’Hagan (Reaching Families, Worthing, UK)
Stephen Kingdom (Reaching Families, Worthing, UK)

Tizard Learning Disability Review

ISSN: 1359-5474

Article publication date: 23 November 2020

Issue publication date: 14 December 2020

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to outline the experiences of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and their families during the coronavirus pandemic.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper draws on research gathered and collated by three different organisations working with families of children and young people with SEND.

Findings

There were a number of common findings across all three surveys. In particular: the rapid collapse of external support for children and families; the reduction/withdrawal of support exacerbated the stress and exhaustion already experienced by many families; it proved very difficult to establish home learning and get adequate support from schools; there was little government recognition of families’ vulnerability and need for support; and, paradoxically, a significant minority of children and families reported increased well-being.

Originality/value

Findings carry clear implications both for the provision of child and family support during any further lockdowns and, more generally, in respect of government policy and funding of family support.

Keywords

Citation

O’Hagan, B. and Kingdom, S. (2020), "Experiences of children with special educational needs and disabilities and their families in the United Kingdom during the coronavirus pandemic", Tizard Learning Disability Review, Vol. 25 No. 4, pp. 229-235. https://doi.org/10.1108/TLDR-09-2020-0025

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited