The COVID-19 pandemic: The evaluation of the emergency remote parent training program based on at-home support for children with down syndrome

Child Youth Serv Rev. 2022 Feb;133:106325. doi: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2021.106325. Epub 2021 Dec 2.


During the COVID-19 pandemic, the development of emergency remote training programs for young children with Down syndrome, learning difficulties, and severe health problems and their parents became a requirement. The present study aimed to evaluate the impact of the "applied emergency remote training program", prepared to address the needs of parents with children with Down syndrome and to offer them at-home support. It is an evaluative case study conducted with 11 parents of 11-35 months old children with Down syndrome. The findings demonstrated that the program could be conducted in a home environment, it improved the interactional behavior of both parents and children, reduced the number of difficult routines, and was considered as an educational, instructive, and band-aid solution. Issues such as the development of systematic psycho-social support systems that increase full participation and motivation of parents in distance education programs are important during extreme times such as the pandemic. Difficulties in online data collection, the employment of coaching and counseling systems in information maintenance, individualization of the program, the improvement of the interactivity in the program, and the development of applied training programs on different topics still wait for a solution.

Keywords: COVID-19; Down syndrome; Emergency remote education; Evaluative case study; Family empowerment; Family support; Naturalistic teaching.