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Participation of Children With Autism During COVID-19: The Role of Maternal Participation

The purpose of this study is to describe the participation patterns of school-aged children with ASD, ages 6 to 12, and to ascertain the factors that affect these patterns. Specifically, we aim to estimate the extent to which factors related to the child (i.e., complexity of child’s condition), the family (i.e., socio-economic status, mothers’ actual participation), and environmental factors (presence of barriers and supports), can explain levels of children’s participation in home and community activities. Our main outcome focuses on participation frequency (how often) and involvement (how immersed the child is in the activity) and the type and number of activities to which parents would like to see change

Principal Investigator (PI): Ziru Wang and Dana Anaby

Institution & Department: McGill University - School of Physical and Occupational Therapy

Year(s) collaborated with SCERT on project: 2020-2021


Results of Research Project:

Published Paper: Participation of Children With Autism During COVID-19: The Role of Maternal Participation

Participant of Children With Autism During COVID-19 The Role of Maternal Participation
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Abstract: : Little is known about participation during adverse times. Objectives: This study described participation of children with autism aged 6 to 13 during COVID-19 pandemic and examined the extent to which child factors, mother’s own participation, and environmental barriers/supports explain child participation in home and community. Method: A total of 130 mothers completed the Participation and Environment Measure for Children and Youth, the Health Promoting Activities Scale, functional issues checklist, and sociodemographic questionnaire. Results: Children’s participation frequency and involvement were significantly higher at home than in the community. In both settings, mothers desired change in 71% of activities. Multiple regression models indicated that child’s age and mother’s participation frequency significantly explained child’s home involvement (R2 = 21%), where mother’s participation (frequency) had a unique contribution (ΔR2 = 10.4%) at home but not in the community. Conclusion: Findings imply the importance of maternal participation to child’s participation at home and suggest redirecting attention for enhancing family participation as a whole

Link to full article (open access):

Wang Z, Golos A, Weiss JA, Anaby D. Participation of Children With Autism During COVID-19: The Role of Maternal Participation. OTJR (Thorofare N J). 2023 Apr 23:15394492231164939. doi: 10.1177/15394492231164939. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37089012; PMCID: PMC10125891.


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