Background: COVID-19 has had a disproportionate and unprecedented impact on children with disabilities, their parents and families. This impact has been particularly evident during periods of lockdowns and severe restrictions. Objective: This study employed the social model of disability to illuminate negative and positive experiences of Israeli parents of children with disabilities during the first COVID-19 lockdown, as well as the way social environments, particularly educational and welfare services, shape that experience. Methods: The study draws upon thematic analysis of written responses of 80 Israeli parents to open-ended questions. Results: Three main themes were found: (1) lack of responsiveness of both informal and formal supports to family needs, mainly in the educational and welfare systems; (2) juggling multiple roles and tasks along with the parents' routinely intensive caregiving role; and (3) the impact on the family's wellbeing and relationships. Conclusion: These results are discussed in light of the social model of disability, showing how social restrictions and barriers affect both negative and positive experiences of these families. Also discussed are practical implications for future crises.
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- Parents of children with disabilities
- Social model of disability