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The impact of Covid-19 pandemic on children’s mental health

Mental health in every bit is as important as physical health. And this came more into the limelight during the outbreak of the Covid 19 pandemic. This has largely affected the mental health of the children. During childhood to have sound mental health for their emotional wellbeing and social skills is very important.

Poor mental health during childhood can acutely impact the way children behave, learn or handle their emotions.

With schools being suspended in all over 189 countries since April 2020, the integrated education system has moved online.

While it is proving to be in favour of most of the children but very little is talked about its psychological impact on children with disabilities. And at the utmost risk are those children who are suffering from pre-existing mental and physical disabilities.

There are a lot of recreational activities that are done at home because of online mode and it can prove to be frustrating for children with physical disabilities. The current scenario of social distancing and no access to outdoor activities is deteriorating their development and it is the hardest issue with children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder, all this can make them feel more restless, anxious, and grumpy. 

Recently, The Indian Express published an article about a five-year-old boy Ayan, residing in Mumbai was showing symptoms like speech delay and remaining lost for the most part of the day.

Ayan was enrolled in the school by her parents, thinking it might help their child to aid the ongoing problems. But before anything could be done, the country went into a lockdown phase.

He started to refuse to sit for the online classes, missing out on the early intervention period has curbed his mental growth. Lack of development in the past pandemic years has led his social maturity to appear like a two-year-old. And these are severe autistic traits.

Autism is a neurological disorder affecting a child’s social ability, communication and resulting in repeated actions. These children need extended stimulation from the environment for improved adaptability and development. They also have difficulty in expressing mature behaviour. And it is often seen that parents of children with autism are overprotective and anxious about their child’s mental health. All this results in the overall growth of the children.

The age groups that are termed as most crucial stages of development are toddlers i.e, 1-3 years, pre-schoolers i.e, 3-6 years. This is an age where the child should start getting oriented to his/her surroundings and prepare to adapt to the environment faster.

Amidst all this, it becomes more important to keep a check on children’s psychological and emotional wellbeing. 

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