Getting back to school:
For most parents with children, this is a time to gear up for the new school year. Of course, as we all know, 2020 has been a very different year.
Fortunately, all of my four children are now adults (and I have two beautiful grandchildren).
Challenges of remote learning:
However, I do know many parents that have school age children diagnosed with autism that have serious concerns.
For those who live in school districts that have continued virtual learning, there are numerous challenges related to online learning. For example, when the child is unable to get many of the services and support needed and included in his or her IEP.
How a parent maximizes the support their child gets through virtual learning is a serious question; one that each school district needs to answer.
And, what happens if the child’s parents can’t afford a computer and/or internet access?
For parents of autistic children who are returning to an actual school, there are equal but
- How safe is the child and will the child adhere to the safety requirements imposed by the school?
- Will the child be dealing with constant changes in terms of temporary school closings, friends getting the COVID-19 virus, teachers getting sick, and much more?
- Will special education requirements by schools be met during the COVID-19 challenges?
- What happens if my child gets the virus?
These are certainly challenging times; many of the questions a parent has to address just can’t be answered. However, there are many people, including the MyHana team, that can help you get answers to you biggest questions.
Many national autism advocates are also concerned that public schools might slow down their requirements related to provision of support and services to students impacted by a disability.
With the significant costs that schools are incurring due to COVID-19, we do not want to have schools make up budget losses by cutting services to students with a disability.
Raise your voice:
Let your voice be heard if you see a reduction in services or support by talking to the school’s superintendent, as well as school board members, tell them your concerns.
If that doesn’t work, in terms of having your concerns appropriately addressed, send an email to your state’s department of education and let them know of your concerns.
Like I tell my friends and family, things will hopefully become less chaotic and begin settle down. If you are struggling with all that is going on, seek help. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your local mental health or support provider.
There is nothing wrong with saying you need help during these challenging times. I know, as a 66-year-old dad and grandpa who has recently retired, I too have days when I wonder what the future holds.
With that being said, I know that we will emerge from this time more equipped and better prepared for the future.