“When. Will. This. End?” – The Impact of COVID-19 on Parenting

Three months ago, we were all thrust into an unprecedented situation. Some of us had to close businesses. Some of us had to step in to take care of a loved one. Others had to figure out where their next paycheck would come from – and fast. The COVID-19 outbreak has been difficult for all of us, but while some of us are coping by talking with family and friends over Zoom or diving into hobbies, it can be difficult for children to understand the problem – and in turn, equally difficult for them to find coping mechanisms.

This is an issue I have heard repeatedly when I talk to parents who participate in Easterseals programs. And while all children might be coping with this challenging time in their own ways, it can be especially difficult for children with disabilities and children with autism. Routine and consistent scheduling are especially important for them. COVID-19, through no fault of the parents or those who are trying to help, completely uprooted the sense of security that routine can bring to someone with autism.

Easterseals therapists and service providers are doing all they can to ensure as much of the critical routines of children on the autism spectrum remain intact through technology and telehealth. And that is just it – everyone is doing what they can in this situation, and all of us should be proud about of that.  It is so hard to see that you are making it through when you are in the weeds.  You find yourself asking:


That is exactly how one of our program participants, Banner, expressed his frustrations. Banner, age 10, has seen his Easterseals therapist through Zoom sessions ever since social distancing became the norm. Still, the shock of having to change routine hit him and his family hard, and he is not alone. Buzzfeed recently profiled many American families, including Banner’s, to give a more detailed picture of the ways COVID-19 has impacted children.

I think many of us share Banner’s feelings. Just when will it end?

We may not know the answer to that question. But I cannot help but be proud of how the Easterseals community – parents, caregivers, teachers and therapists – has shown strength and resilience through this time. We all are taking on new responsibilities, while already juggling full plates!  But we must not forget to give ourselves credit when credit is due. You – the parent who is wondering if you are doing this ‘right’ or is questioning if your child will be okay at the end of this – are doing the best you can. That is enough. And although you may have doubts now, you will make it through. Just like a child progressing through their goals, we are all taking things day by day – step by step. We are learning together.

And we will make it through to the other side – together. I know we will.


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  1. joe wright Says:

    I wish this could all get over with. I miss ADC very much and didn’t realize how much it helps me. Now I have went back tomy old routine of doing nothig but sitting home and not wanting to go anywhere. Wish you could get a date when you can reopen.

  2. joe wright Says:

    I miss ADULT DAY CARE alot. Am climbing the walls daily with nothing to do but sit here in my apartment, and color, watch tv(nothing but bad news now) Don’t like watching tv or read paper at all. Don’t even like going anywhere. I want to go back home to Easter Seals!

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