Children with special needs could struggle with school safety precautions
Returning to school after months at home is going to be difficult for many children. Plus, schools will have new routines and safety precautions, like wearing masks and regular hand washing, which will be unfamiliar to many children. As parents worry about their kids' ability to adapt, parents of children with special needs have even more challenges to consider.Posted — Updated
The coronavirus pandemic has posed even greater struggles and concerns. Now, with schools reopening in a matter of weeks, local parents of children with special needs are worried about how schools will keep their kids safe.
Kira Parris Moore, a Durham mom to a son on the autism spectrum, has had her life flipped upside down since the start of the pandemic.
“For a long time, he was non-verbal. He became only verbal at age six,” said Moore.
Masks, social distancing and new routines could pose major challenges
Managing his stress and anxiety with therapy and outdoor activities has helped, but she said things like mask wearing and social distancing are complicated to implement.
Social distancing may also be difficult to implement, according to Gregory Harwood, an adult on the autism spectrum.
He said, "People on the autism spectrum often struggle with social interaction and non-verbal communication. They may not understand social guidelines such as how far to stand from somebody else until it is very carefully and explicitly explained to them."
"We also struggle with having inflexible rituals and routines. It can be very, very hard for us to change to new routines," he said.
“It’s all going to be very new to him," said said. Plus, she added, he will have to readjust to a new routine after being home for so long.
Like many parents right now, they’re figuring out all of the life changes one day at a time.
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