How are people with special needs coping with the administrative, financial and social changes incurred due to the current coronavirus pandemic? This is the subject of a project undertaken in 2020 as Co-PI with Professor Andrea Samson (Fribourg and Unidistance, both Switzerland) and Jo Van Herwegen (UCL, UK). This survey study took place in collaboration with researchers in over 30 countries and in 12 different languages. In particular, we were interested in the stresses they have faced and the coping and emotion regulation strategies they employed. I unfortunately had to relinquish the PI position in 2022 when I began new jobs with new responsibilities.

For more information about the project, please visit the project’s website.

In terms of outputs, there have been scientific papers, a submission to the UK government, conference presentations, scientific and general public posters. A selection of the papers I co-authored can be seen below.

Government submissions

Van Herwegen, J., … Samson, A.C., & Dukes, D. (2020). Written evidence submitted to the UK government on the impact of COVID-19 on education and children’s services: The impact on families of children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities in the UK. Retrieved July 23, 2020.


Dukes, D., Van Herwegen, J., Alessandi, M., Alnemary, F., Amani Rad, J., Banta Lavenex, P., Bolshakov, N., Bölte, S., Ying Cai, R., Campos, R., Chirita-Emandi, A., P. Costa, A., Costanzo, F., di Poi, G., Des Portes, V., Faivre, L., Famelart, N., Fisher, M., Gamaiunova, L., … Samson, A. C. (2021, February 15). Introducing the COVID-19 crisis special education needs coping survey. PsyArXiv.

Van Herwegen, J., Dukes, D., & Samson, A.C. (2020). COVID19 Crisis Response Survey for families of Individuals with Special Needs [Data set]. OSFHOME. Retrieved May 27, 2020, from


Di Poi, G., Dukes, D., Tran, M., & Samson, A. C. (2021). Comment les familles d’enfants avec besoins éducatifs particuliers ont vécu la crise de la COVID-19 : Observations préliminaires pour la Suisse. [How families with children with special educational needs experienced the Covid-19 crisis: preliminary observations for Switzerland]. Revue suisse de pédagogie spécialisée. 1, 9-18. Read here (French)

Dukes, D., & Samson, A. C. (2021). COVID-19 : Donnons la parole aux parents d’enfants avec des besoins éducatifs particuliers [COVID-19: giving voice to the parents of children with special educational needs]. Pages romandes : Revue sur la pédagogie spécialisée les déficiences intellectuelles et développementales, 3, 28-31.

Prosetzky, I., Poustka, L., Dukes, D., & Samson, A. C. (2021). Eine internationale Studie zu Auswirkungen der COVID-19-Pandemie auf Familien mit einem behinderten Kind: Wie ging es den Familien in Deutschland? Ein Bericht. [An international study on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on families with a child with special educational needs: How did German families fare? A report]. Teilhabe, 60, 2. Read here (German)

Samson, A. C., Di Poi, G., Tran, M., & Dukes, D. (2021). Die Auswirkungen der COVID-19 Pandemie in der Schweiz: Erste Beobachtungen bei Familien mit Kindern sonderpädagogischem Förderbedarf [The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in Switzerland: First observations in families with children with special educational needs]. Schweizerische Zeitschrift für Heilpädagogik, 27(5-6), 18-25.

Sideropoulos, V., Dukes, D., Hanley, M. et al. The Impact of COVID-19 on Anxiety and Worries for Families of Individuals with Special Education Needs and Disabilities in the UK. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 52, 2656–2669 (2022).

Sideropoulos, V., Kye, H., Dukes, D., Samson, A. C., Palikara, O., & Van Herwegen, J. (2022). Anxiety and Worries of Individuals with Down Syndrome During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Comparative Study in the UK. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

Su, X., Cai, R. Y., Uljarević, M., Van Herwegen, J., Dukes, D., Yang, Y., Peng, X., & Samson, A. C. (2021). Brief Report: A cross-sectional study of anxiety levels and concerns of Chinese families of children with special educational needs and disabilities post-first-wave of COVID-19. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 12, 708465. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2021.708465