‘The impact of quarantine on autistic people’: the ‘Autism Europe’ Consul Inna Sergienko took part in an all-Ukrainian conference

The ‘Autism Europe’ Consul and the founder of the ‘Child with Future’ Foundation Inna Sergienko took part in the “Assistance to autistic children and adolescents’ International scientific-practical conference. The event was organized by the Department of Correctional Pedagogy of the National Pedagogical Dragomanov University.

During her presentation, Inna Sergienko spoke about the impact of quarantine on people with ASD. The report is based on research data by ‘Autism Europe’.

According to a survey, 35% of autistic children did not engage in learning from the beginning of the quarantine, 53% did not benefit from distance education, 42% did not receive support from school during the quarantine, 68% had serious difficulties returning to schools, 68% felt overwhelmed and had nervous breakdowns.

Inna Sergienko said that special people were 7 times more likely to experience the stress of being alone during quarantine than others. That is why many countries, including Greece, Spain, France, Italy, allowed autistic people not to wear masks and walk more on the streets.

“In Ukraine, too, we need to think about comfortable conditions for people with ASD during quarantine, and even more so during the lockdown. After all, the ‘Autism Europe’ survey showed that although for some special children the conditions of distance education are suitable, most lose all the necessary skills that they acquired during classes with specialists. Thus, the gap between autistic and neurotypical children has only widened. And we simply must not allow this situation to occur,” says Inna Sergienko.

According to her, if we send autistic people to distance learning, they should be provided with the necessary conditions: organize various support options and finance them, provide families with educational materials and equipment for online education, arrange continuous access to social services, psychotherapeutic support, counseling, and other services.

“Based on the ‘Autism Europe’ research, whose translation is now preparing by the ‘Child with Future’ Foundation and soon it will be public, we will demand from the authorities smart, not crazy quarantine restrictions for autistic people. We will prepare a collective appeal”, added Inna Sergienko.