Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This


‘Untethered’: How Coronavirus Is Affecting The Developmentally Disabled

(Photo: Kelli McClintock on Unsplash)
Stories like these are only possible with your help!
You have the power to keep local news strong for the coming months. Your financial support today keeps our reporters ready to meet the needs of our city. Thank you for investing in your community.

COVID-19’s dramatic disruption of everyday life can be especially difficult for people with a developmental disability — and their families.

School systems and other government agencies that help people with a developmental disability have had to change how they provide services by moving most of them online. That can be a huge problem for people with things like Down syndrome or autism who rely on in-person support.

Shafali Jeste, a pediatric neurologist and professor at UCLA, told us:

Support for LAist comes from
“They’re untethered, they don’t have the support that they normally would have. And a lot of it is falling on the parents to have to provide those supports.”

That includes Jennifer St. Jude of Lancaster. Her two kids have autism, and so does she.

“Not knowing that light at the end of the tunnel, not having that definitive timeframe is just like [a] total trigger for people on the spectrum,” she said.


Our news is free on LAist. To make sure you get our coverage: Sign up for our daily coronavirus newsletter. To support our non-profit public service journalism: Donate Now.