Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute, Israel’s leading center for applied social research, recently published a new study that helps raise awareness about the effect the pandemic has had on children with disabilities and their families. We at the Malki Foundation are grateful to see the children we serve plight in the context of the pandemic being highlighted, as we believe more attention should be paid to this issue — having data and an in-depth study available to shine light on their particular challenges in this context is key.
As we have highlighted throughout the pandemic, our families and their children already struggle with being isolated and not having enough support. As you can imagine, the pandemic made their already existing struggles much, much, worse. The JDC study, which investigated the impact of corona on the life of the child, is currently only available in Hebrew, so we’d like to share with you a summary of their key findings.
For the study, the Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute interviewed 6,000 families (11% children with disabilities, 89% without), showing the decline in different areas for the child, especially children with disabilities. The study also demonstrates that the largest difference was for children with disabilities aged 7-12. In all age groups, parents reported a more marked negative impact among children with disabilities compared to children without disabilities. But, in the 7-12 year old age group, the most severe negative impact occurred, according to parent reports. For all metrics examined (health status, emotional state, social status, contact with family members, and general functioning), it was found that there was a greater negative impact from the situation for children with disabilities compared to children without disabilities.
Of the various metrics measured, the children with disabilities’ emotional state was negatively impacted the hardest. A whopping 39% of parents of children with disabilities reported that their emotional state had deteriorated since the outbreak of the corona crisis compared to 18% of parents of children without disabilities. Another measure in which the negative impact stood out was on the social status of the child — 34% of parents of children with disabilities reported that their child’s social status was negatively impacted compared to 17% of parents of children with disabilities who reported this.
The Malki Foundation sincerely thanks the Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute for their important work raising awareness of the struggles our beneficiaries faced during the Corona crisis.