Understanding Life in Lockdown for Autistic Young People
A new report documenting the experiences of life during Covid-19 lockdown for autistic young people has been launched by colleagues in our Centre for Children’s Rights. The research was led by Social Policy academic Bronagh Byrne and researcher Gillian O’Hagan and was funded by the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work (SSESW) as part of our response to social issues impacted and highlighted by the pandemic. The project engages the participatory arts based research method of Photovoice whereby autistic young people aged 11-15 years used photography to document their lives in Northern Ireland during the lockdown period March-June 2020.
The project seeks to illuminate the challenges faced by these young people during lockdown with a particular focus on their experiences of education. A young people’s advisory group worked alongside the SSESW team in designing and analysing the research. This project makes recommendations for how autistic young people should be supported during any further pandemic and associated restrictions. The findings make particular reference to the educational and other supports normally engaged for autistic young people and how these services could be adapted and adjusted in future lockdown planning.