COVID-19 Related Facilitators and Barriers to In-Person Learning for Children With Intellectual and Development Disabilities: A Follow-Up

for the COMPASS-T Study Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Students with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and the staff who support them were largely in-person during the 2021-2022 school year, despite their continued vulnerability to infection with SARS-CoV-2. This qualitative study aimed to understand continued perceptions of weekly SARS-CoV-2 screening testing of students and staff amidst increased availability of vaccinations. METHODS: Twenty-three focus groups were held with school staff and parents of children with IDD to examine the perceptions of COVID-19 during the 2021-2022 school year. Responses were analyzed using a directed thematic content analysis approach. RESULTS: Four principal themes were identified: strengths and opportunities of school- and district-level mitigation policies; experience at school with the return to in-person learning; facilitators and barriers to participation in SARS-CoV-2 screening testing; and perceptions of SARS-CoV-2 testing in light of vaccine availability. IMPLICATIONS FOR SCHOOL HEALTH POLICY, PRACTICE, AND EQUITY: Despite the increased availability of vaccines, school staff and families agreed that saliva-based SARS-CoV-2 screening testing helped increase comfort with in-person learning as long as the virus was present in the community. CONCLUSION: To keep children with IDD in school during the pandemic, families found SARS-CoV-2 screening testing important. Clearly communicating school policies and mitigation strategies facilitated peace of mind and confidence in the school district.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-116
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of School Health
Volume94
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2024

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • COVID-19 school testing
  • COVID-19 vaccinations
  • SARS-CoV-2 testing
  • children with IDD
  • intellectual and developmental disabilities

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'COVID-19 Related Facilitators and Barriers to In-Person Learning for Children With Intellectual and Development Disabilities: A Follow-Up'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this