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IEP Delivery of Services During Coronavirus School Closures

Question markI have one daughter still in school here in Fairfield County, Connecticut. She attends a special education placement outside of district. I received a letter from her school stating that if our district closes, she will be unable to attend school, even if the school remains open. This would be for at least 14 days. So far, our district has only cancelled after school activities, but not classes. Other local districts and many colleges have shut down.

The City of Bridgeport, next door, says it will not close because its student population does not have ready access to technology to learn at home, unlike Westport, a very wealthy town just miles from Bridgeport. Yesterday, our district sent home a questionnaire to fill out regarding what technology is available at home including access to Internet and a computer.  We have a computer, but my daughter can not use it to accomplish her IEP goals.

How will special education services be fulfilled if school closes? Will there be compensatory hours? A longer summer program? I have so many questions. Down time is DEAD TIME for us. And probably for you too. And in two weeks, behaviors can escalate while skills diminish.




If it were an all time piranha feeding, the US would be doing Singapore style testing, tens of thousands tested rather than the two thousand I think we’re up to. I don’t think it was in the interests of anyone in government to have the stock market have a record crash. The US could produce the millions of tests promised and give them for free, as some other countries are doing. I think we’re not because up until the stock market crash most people have been in denial of the seriousness of the situation. I don’t think the authorities have nefarious motives, but everyone is in the process of catching up and revising opinions.

In general I have always been lackadaisical about germs. Less allergic and autoimmune disease in those with the most exposure to common germs and animals. I would like, however, to avoid contagion with coronavirus until it’s attenuated. I would feel the same way if I were in danger of being exposed to Ebola, yellow fever, malaria, dengue, or cholera. I think that is rational and not germophobic, but if it is, then so be it.


It’s interesting to read the snippets of data below the list of affected countries and their data at Most recent at the top. It has descriptions of hundreds of cases and deaths in dozens of countries, age, preexisting conditions, nationality, who they caught it from, etc. Many of them were healthy and young, though most of them were elderly to start with. We need to wait for tables by country to show rates of mortality by age. Italy can assure one that those dying with coronavirus are in nearly every case dying as a direct result of having coronavirus. The doctors dying in their thirties of coronavirus in Italy may have died because of the high viral load they were exposed to, but that might mean that mortality in the young would skyrocket if large numbers of people incubating the disease infect those around them. We don’t have enough data yet to know. Many countries and smaller entities have no incentive to be transparent. The UAE suspended all flights from Korea and Thailand. Why? Korea you can see, but Thailand is not supposed to have a big problem with it. But why would a sophisticated country like the UAE put it in the same category as Korea unless it had information indicating that it was a wise measure?

We don’t get a redo on this. If we just take all reports at face value, we may be sorry, but at that time it would no longer be possible to control it as well as if we go all Singapore now. Italy was very advanced and civilized: now it’s shut down: over a thousand new cases today. It has passed a law saying that anyone who breaks quarantine and that results in a death, will be charged with murder and receive a minimum 21 year sentence. Singapore imposes a jail term and the equivalent of a hundred thousand dollar fine for breaking quarantine. Singapore went strict immediately and had had great success in controlling both cases and deaths. Italy started off humane and calm, but has had to do an about-face because of the tragically-changed circumstances. We need to pay attention and act accordingly. I am not willing to write off anyone’s death as no great loss. And for the little it’s worth, I was incorrect when I said MIssouri only had two cases. Now we have four.

John Stone


Yes, more bad people rhetoric - I do however think this disease has immense nuisance value, and will stretch health resources to the limit although paradoxically it probably isn’t killing anyone much (unfortunately if many people get it some statistically will die anyway).

Grace Green

On "Any Questions" Radio 4 BBC last night, it was stated that some younger people in Italy were ignoring the lock-down and going out. They calculated that they were unlikely to suffer badly from the virus. Someone on the panel said young people should consider the dangers to old people created by their actions. My thinking is, why should the younger generation have their education and other needs of growing up disrupted in order to give us oldies another few years of dementia? Is this what most of the older generation expect from their grandchildren? I do think the world is now upside-down.

Gary Ogden

Benedetta and Vicki: Two thumbs up and three cheers for your sentiments. This has all the hallmarks of all the other phony epidemics, like Zika, swine flu, bird flu, H1N1, SARS, MERS, et cetera, ad nauseum. Not to mention HIV. In any case, the diagnostic tests for viruses vary by country and are notoriously unreliable. I read an interesting article pointing out that the two countries with reportedly high fatality rates, China and Italy, also have relatively high rates of latent TB. The deaths from this latest scare seem to be caused by pneumonia, so those weakened by poor lung function, put in isolation or rushed to hospitals will have a greater risk. Personally, I don't believe any official pronouncements about disease outbreaks. Those who will suffer the most from this draconian over-reaction are the children and their families.


I am glad AofA is posting a more important story instead of far right fear mongering in opposition to vaccines. Special education students especially from those in poor families who are missing school is a serious issue that needs a resolution. Low income kids will not have their school lunch during the school closures in may states and even foreign countries another issue that needs resolving.


Benedetta, totally agree... people need to get a grip. We will get through this. I too remember the swine flu hysteria.

My grandmother had permanent damage from the swine flu vaccine which eventually killed her.

We need to be positive, be smart about not spreading this but not live in fear.

I'd rather die on my feet than live on my knees.



You seem to be saying that currently undiagnosed cases, mild or subclinical, if identified, would dilute the impact of the serious and fatal cases. It would, but with so many contracting, suffering, and dying from it, you’d have to say it depended on your point of view.

According to the latest figures at, as of today there have been 134,511 diagnosed cases; 4,970 deaths; 68,915 have recovered; 60,626 have active cases now; of these, 54,632, or 90%, are mild, and this percentage is rising every day; 5,994, or 10%, have serious or critical cases, again, going down, it was 18% just last week, 73,885 cases have had an outcome; 68,915, 93%, have recovered or been discharged from the hospital; 4,970, or seven percent, have died.

You can say that the vast majority of the cases so far are still active and maybe enough will recover that it will change the seven percent mortality in cases with an outcome. But it is a horrifyingly high mortality regardless of its possibly coming down somewhat when more cases have reached a final outcome.


Dr. Jeremy Samuel Faust, an emergency physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and an instructor at Harvard Medical School, has written on Slate:

“The public is behaving as if this epidemic is the next Spanish flu, which is frankly understandable given that initial reports have staked COVID-19 mortality at about 2–3 percent, quite similar to the 1918 pandemic that killed tens of millions of people.
Allow me to be the bearer of good news. These frightening numbers are unlikely to hold. The true case fatality rate, known as CFR, of this virus is likely to be far lower than current reports suggest. Even some lower estimates, such as the 1 percent death rate recently mentioned by the directors of the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, likely substantially overstate the case.

We shouldn’t be surprised that the numbers are inflated. In past epidemics, initial CFRs were floridly exaggerated. For example, in the 2009 H1N1 pandemic some early estimates were 10 times greater than the eventual CFR, of 1.28 percent. Epidemiologists think and quibble in terms of numerators and denominators—which patients were included when fractional estimates were calculated, which weren’t, were those decisions valid—and the results change a lot as a result. We are already seeing this.

In the early days of the crisis in Wuhan, China, the CFR was more than 4 percent. As the virus spread to other parts of Hubei, the number fell to 2 percent. As it spread through China, the reported CFR dropped further, to 0.2 to 0.4 percent. As testing begins to include more asymptomatic and mild cases, more realistic numbers are starting to surface.”

Also, while data is hard to come by the vast majority of deaths are in the 60+ group. Children are the least affected despite having no more immunity due to prior exposure. Makes you wonder



I think we need to cooperate in handling this new situation. No one knows how long it will last. Even tropical countries are being hit. But not adapting will cost lives. There was a graph this morning at the Twitter account of either Luz Sprecht or Helen Branswell with lines showing the increase in coronavirus cases and deaths: four colored lines, the top one showing the numbers with no use of protective equipment, cancellations, quarantine, travel bans and so on. It was high. The others showed the increase when containment measures were 25, 50, and 75 percent implemented, and the differences were dramatic. Very low incidence with 75 percent implementation.

The Atlantic today had an article about people’s resistance to cooperate based on a dismissal of coronavirus as only killing the elderly. Where does this come from? Just on the face of it, it is shameful to be willing to throw older people overboard to die a painful and terrifying death. But aside from the immorality and lack of compassion and human decency of this attitude, a large percentage of critical and fatal cases are occurring in much younger people, many healthy young adults in their thirties and some in their twenties.

Are there not parallels in this to our indignation at how many of the autistic are marginalized and written off for the “greater good”? Should we not accept with good humor the cancellation of classes and programs for our autistic children while this crisis lasts? Every human being is capable of contracting and transmitting the virus.

After writing to Cecily’s buddy this morning saying I didn’t think it was safe for her to attend the trivia night because of the large number of people congregating, I got an email from the group leader saying it had been cancelled, which was very wise. I think the girl forwarded my email to him, and he realized that not only would he not want to enable people getting the virus, but he may have thought he or the group might be legally liable at this point in the global pandemic.


Cia; You are such a germaphobe. Stop it.
We all will die some way or the other. You can't live in fear. You can't live with out your health.
Vaccines take your health, and fear causes stress, Forget the mask and go live.

1977, My microbiology professor took three hours every week putting fear in the hearts of his infectious disease students that the swine flu was coming. Get your vaccines, you are a fool if you don't. Of which it turned out to be a series of three vaccines, that caused a high percentage of paralysis as reported on the national news, after I had taken the one the day before.

No vaccine in this case, but the power high feeding of those in our most high thrones of health federal agencies is at an all time piranha feeding. Our news stations don't have to put out much effort, lazy things.


Here in Missouri, even though the federal laws are theoretically applicable here, in practice they are not and no special ed student gets anything from the public schools after twelfth grade. They go to Voc Rehab, the ACT pre-employment program which my daughter is finishing now, or, if they are unlikely to get a job, a sheltered workshop or a day program with activities and outings.

I am apprehensive about letting her continue going, even though it’s just for a few hours three times a week. As I said, she’s been wearing mask and gloves when she goes. She would be extremely unhappy if she didn’t have that outlet.

However, we’ve got to flatten the curve and control the bulge of new infections and deaths. This is another Home Front and it’s vitally important that everyone do their part in flattening the curve, which is all we can do now. It’s hard to think of things my daughter could do. She can’t or won’t read books independently, can’t follow the story lines of books, movies, or videos. We started to play checkers the other day, but after ten minutes we were both bored and we stopped. She doesn’t like any board or card games. Sometimes she works puzzles and she is a very good artist. She likes the online games at the public television website. She likes crafts and we have a lot of Annie’s Girls Club kits she hasn’t done yet. We’ve been doing old Jane Fonda exercise videos together. She’s an excellent cook and makes nearly all our suppers now. I give her a recipe and two hours later, voila, a meticulously prepared and beautifully presented final dish. I recently ordered a subscription to Ladybug magazine for her, for children three to six. We got it when she was that age and now we’re getting it again and she loves it. I also ordered their science magazine Click for the same age range. If we are quarantined, we’ll cope with it.

I saw a video last night on YouTube by a doctor in Italy who said that it’s increasingly young people who are affected, that he had seen a twenty year old go into respiratory collapse.

While the bishop gave the instructions last week that I mentioned for making Mass safer, the Newman Center, our university church, still had a lot on its schedule. Last night Father Rich sent an email saying that the Lenten Day of Reflection had been cancelled due to coronavirus concerns. My daughter has been participating in Best Buddies, a group with programs and partners for the autistic. My daughter’s buddy was looking forward to going to Puerto Rico for spring break in a service trip sponsored by her Methodist church. Best Buddies is having a trivia night tonight. Yesterday the girl asked if Cecily was going and said yes, she was still going to PR. I emailed saying I didn’t think C should go to the trivia night, that that would be a lot of people at the event, a contagion vector, and there are undoubtedly a lot of people here who have and could transmit the virus, but have no symptoms yet. She wrote back late last night while I was reading about the pandemic in bed on my cell phone. She said classes at the university had all been changed to online classes because of coronavirus and she would be going home to be with her family at this time. She said the trip to PR had been cancelled.

I talked to my Panamanian friend in St. Louis Tuesday evening, who told me about the first cases in Panama that day, one death. She said there were empty shelves in St. Louis stores, which hasn’t happened here (yet).

We need to make the adjustment to pandemic mode. It would be inappropriate for anyone to say it’s silly and resist implementing behaviors which will save lives by slowing down transmission, flattening the curve. People should stay home as much as possible, going out only for their jobs, food, and things from the drug store. Wearing personal protection equipment. Everyone has to do it now. Sort of like Loose lips sink ships, the vital importance of behaviors at an individual level, the modern meme for which is Stay the f- home.

Bob Moffit

Going through similar threats of shutting down school for our young man .. which would require already stressed family to meet daily challenge of having someone in home .. most likely grandma who loves that challenge .. to supervise him .. or .. have one parent plead for compassionate leave of absence from their job.

What are families who do not have a willing and loving grandparent to do?

Consider .. Gov Cuomo spent entire summer panicked over a measles outbreak .. so panicked he passed legislation denying unvaccinated children access to public schools and day care centers .. 26,000 FAMILIES WERE AFFECTED BY HIS CRUEL INDIFFIERENCE TO THEM AND THEIR PRECIOUS CHILDREN.

While measles has received extraordinary priority in Cuomo's administration .. our Gov has said absolutely NOTHING NOTEWORTHY as autism has increased from 1 in 10,000 a few decades ago to 1 in 35 children daily being diagnosed autistic .. another example of his CRUEL INDIFFERENCE TO OUR COMMUNITY.

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