In The Politics of Autism, I discuss the day-to-day challenges facing autistic people and their families. Those challenges get far more intense during disasters. And coronavirus is proving to be the biggest disaster of all.Adrien A Eshraghi and colleagues have an article at Lancet Psychiatry titled "COVID-19: Overcoming the Challenges Faced by Individuals with Autism and their Families."
While the infection rate of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) rises exponentially around the globe, individuals with autism spectrum disorder are being identified as part of a group at higher risk for complications from COVID-19.1
Furthermore, autism spectrum disorder is often accompanied by anxiety, dyspraxia, learning disabilities, epilepsy, fragile X syndrome, Down syndrome, and immune system alterations. Individuals with autism can also have different types of behavioral challenges including deficits in social communication, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, irritability, and aggression. Such common comorbidities can present additional challenges for individuals to cope with during the COVID-19 pandemic, making it more difficult to receive needed therapies, practice physical distancing, and adjust to disrupted daily routines. We assert that individuals with autism are an important group who might require additional support during the COVID-19 outbreak and future public health emergencies.
1. Chow N Fleming-Dutra K Gierke R et al. Preliminary estimates of the prevalence of selected underlying health conditions among patients with Coronavirus disease 2019—United States, February 12–March 28, 2020.MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020; 69: 382-386 View in Article PubMedCrossrefGoogle ScholarThe authors might also have noted problems such as depression.