This article is part of the Topical Collection on Child and Family Disaster Psychiatry
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This paper reviews the empirical literature on exposures to disaster or terrorism and their impacts on the health and well-being of children with disabilities and their families since the last published update in 2017. We also review the literature on studies examining the mental health and functioning of children with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Few studies have examined the effects of disaster or terrorism on children with disabilities. Research shows that children with disabilities and their families have higher levels of disaster exposure, lower levels of disaster preparedness, and less recovery support due to longstanding discriminatory practices. Similarly, many reports of the COVID-19 pandemic have documented its negative and disproportionate impacts on children with disabilities and their families.
In the setting of climate change, environmental disasters are expected to increase in frequency and severity. Future studies identifying mitigating factors to disasters, including COVID-19; increasing preparedness on an individual, community, and global level; and evaluating post-disaster trauma-informed treatment practices are imperative to support the health and well-being of children with disabilities and their families.
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- Children and Adolescents with Disabilities and Exposure to Disasters, Terrorism, and the COVID-19 Pandemic: a Scoping Review
Julia E. McMillan
Ellen J. Silver
Ruth E. K. Stein
- Springer US