Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Daily Life: Diverse Experiences for Autistic Adults

Jarymke Maljaars*, Eef Gijbels, Kris Evers, Debbie Spain, Freya Rumball, Francesca Happé, Ilse Noens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Using a mixed methods design, this study aimed to examine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on autistic and non-autistic adults. We conducted an online survey with 196 autistic and 228 non-autistic adults from Belgium, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom focusing on their experiences during the first period of the pandemic. Our results indicate rather diverse experiences within the group of autistic participants across all domains of life. In comparison with non-autistic adults, autistic adults reported less negative impact on their social life and more negative impact on health and support services. In the autism group, stress was mainly related to changing and unclear measures. A wide range of coping strategies were described as helpful in reducing stress during the pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022


  • Adults
  • Autism
  • COVID-19
  • Impact on daily life
  • Pandemic
  • Perceived stress


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