The spread of Covid -19 has upended the American education system after months of lockdowns and extra-caution during the reopening. Special needs students have also been adversely affected by these lockdowns after being forced to adapt to new learning environments that are foreign to them.
However, it is the parents who have had to bear the brunt of the virus. Parents who take care of their special needs children have been forced to take on the jobs of highly specialized educators and therapists to help their children during the lockdown period.
Special needs students adapt to online learning
Perhaps the biggest challenge for Special needs students in the US has been adapting to online learning. Usage of technology has become difficult for these students, who had been used to receiving specialized in-person services.
Lockdown has also made it hard for these students to interact with their classmates. This has led to signs of withdrawals and mental instability for these students. Unfortunately, parents are not well equipped to deal with special needs students the same way a teacher would deal with them.
This has forced them to juggle between their remote work and helping their children adapt to their new life.
This has been the case for Jordi, a five-year-old from Los Angeles who has been affected by the lockdown. According to an interview with the Guardian, his mother, Carla Suarez-Capdet, said that Jordi had faced challenges in adapting to the new life after schools went into lockdowns.
Suarez-Capdet said that after lockdown, everything was progressing normally and, although her son was not receiving the required care due to Covid-19 restrictions, she was doing fine in ensuring that her son got all the care that he needed.
However, that changed when the schools reopened, and Jordi had to attend online classes through Zoom. The child, who has severe autism, was having problems with his education.
Questions like why he had to stay home logged into Zoom four times a day, seeing all the squares with people in them boggled him. He could not understand what was happening to the life he had been used to at school.
Suarez-Capdet admits that it has been a difficult time for her family and although now they can be able to see a specialist to help her son, she recognizes that her problem is far from unique.
Countrywide, other parents have also narrated their experience with their special needs students. They have also indicated how they are coping with the lockdowns, and for now, they recognize that they have to adapt to the environment they are in and continue helping their children during this pandemic.
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