Only one of my daughters is still in school, at age 19. Ordinarily, ESY would have been 20 hours of direct instruction and therapy services with plenty of outdoor fun, water play, swings, slides, activity and life. This summer, she had 3 hours per week delivered by ZOOM with her mother sitting next to her facilitating. She also had carry over work on websites, that also required her mother to sit next to her. Her tiny, private autism placement pooped the bed in June after providing unbelievably wonderful programming for 27 years. They decided to close their doors rather than accept the challenges of COVID and honor their 40 students. So now we are trying to create a new program for Bella to carry her through her final years in school. And guess what? Her mother will be at her side.... at least for now. It's exhausting. I am not a teacher. I have other jobs that need tending. And she has two older sisters who are also home more than they are at the now re-opened day program. I feel like the classic Lucille Ball chocolate factory episode. I love my kids. I love chocolates!
What about compensatory services? Are we supposed to turn a blind eye to the lack of services? When is school supposed to provide them, assuming we open for in person learning full time maybe in 2021? Weekends? Nights? It's an impossible task.
The Daily Mail ran this story today:
NBC News chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel has opened up about how the coronavirus pandemic has been a 'nightmare' for his severely disabled four-year-old son who has been cut off from the therapies that enrich his life.
The 46-year-old journalist's eldest son, Henry, cannot walk or talk. He was diagnosed with Rett Syndrome, a genetic mutation that leads to severe cognitive deficits and physical impairment. The condition is rare, even more so in boys, and there is no cure.
In an essay published by Today, Engel explained that he and his wife, Mary Forrest, have noticed Henry's overall condition has deteriorated since the start of the global crisis, noting that other families with special needs children are also struggling. Read more here.
I have seen some pretty nasty posts on social media about our special needs kids in school. Some parents and teachers (rare I'm sure) think their schooling is a waste of time and resources better used as if school is triage - save those who "can". NO child left behind means my kids, and your kids too.
Yesterday, we finally learned that Kamala Harris will be former Vice President Joe Biden's running mate. The election season is underway, and while we do not endorse candidates (we are a non-profit) and despite what some believe that we "lean" this way or that, the Presidential election is high stakes for so many reasons. One reason is education, that is to say, COVIDcation.
What are you looking at for Fall programming in your city? State? Nation? Let us know in the comments.