Children and young people growing up with a disabled brother or sister often get less attention from parents and have more worries and responsibilities than their peers.
Lockdown and the Covid-19 pandemic has created further isolation and challenges for this group of children and young people.
Sibs have been collaborating with UCL family researcher Dr Georgia Pavlopoulou to explore how this latest lockdown has impacted on siblings’ health and wellbeing.
‘Lonely Lockdown’ reports the findings of a survey from February 2021 that asked parents about family experiences. The survey focused upon siblings’ day-to-day experiences and mental health needs.
Key findings revealed that:
- 81% of parents said their sibling child’s mental health had worsened
- 43% of siblings were providing more care in lockdown
- 40% of young siblings were feeling isolated and missing support from family and friends
- 54% of parents said that respite or a break would have helped siblings cope
The findings from the research suggest that the pandemic has had both an immediate and lasting effect on the mental health of many siblings.
It’s important that these findings are used to inform the support offered to siblings going forward as part of a recovery plan. You can download the “Lonely Lockdown” report to find out more about the research and recommendations.
- Download the ‘Lonely Lockdown’ report and find out more about the project.
- Listen ACT’s Nicola Dean and Sibs’ Linda Owen discuss the challenges siblings of disabled children have faced during lockdown and the importance of providing support to this group of young people.
- Listen to ACT’s Sarah Goff explore how children and young people with learning disabilities, and their families, have managed and adapted during lockdown.
- Watch the video by BBC Newsround which explores how lockdown impacted young people with disabled siblings.