Special Needs Persons over the last fourteen (14) months has had to deal with missing social contacts and altered routines, disturbed sleep and eating habits which can be particularly intense for the children with developmental challenges.
Parents with children on the autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and sensory issues. Before the pandemic, attended programs at special education centers designed for children with autism all that stopped during the pandemic.
Some children were also in regular school, could join other children for some academic subjects, while parents who were able had a dedicated aide who worked with their child when they got anxious.
Then came Covid-19. At first, some parents and their children were excited to be home. A parent told us “He was happy that he didn’t have to get up early for school,”
Virtual education classes never quite started for special needs children. One parent said “He started becoming very aggressive,” “He didn’t want to work with me. He didn’t want me to help him with the problems; he wanted me to give him the answers.” Problem behaviors from when he was much younger started to come back: “He didn’t see me as a teacher — he would become very aggressive with me and start hitting me.”
Many children had academic and social issues being at home, but “for kids with developmental challenges, the challenges got exacerbated by Covid,” We were told by some parents that children aren’t getting their therapy, some miss being in the classroom, and some parents decided to stop medications as they could not afford refills.
A parent of two special needs children said “children are prone to angry outbursts, intense crying episodes, signs they were emotionally displaced”
For the last three months we have provided food, disposible diapers, wipes and medical support to 7 special needs children and their families.
Special Needs Children are often isolated due to lack of mobility or means for parents to take them around, COVID-19 has heightened this challenge as parents are afraid of being infected and the effects the virus may have on special needs children.
Many mothers and/or parents who were already struggling prior to covid -19 due to their inability to find work to suit their schedule and support are now without the hope of finding any work or support as covid-19 has erased any opportunities that may have been available.
To date special needs mothers and/or parents have received little to no state support and are struggling to feed their children, provide disposibles and medical support.
We continue to provide help and support to a limited number of special needs children as we too are affected by the constant lock downs, curfews and states of emergency and we cannot engage in any fundraising.
Our only chance to assist is for you to donate.
The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered many changes in the home, at school and accessing services, from April 2020—some major, like learning remotely from home, and some minor, like sitting farther apart on the school bus or in the class room. While most students have had routines interrupted, the children perhaps most affected by that disruption are special education students.
Generally special needs children and their families depend on a structured routine—and that’s gone. It’s now parents who must establish that routine, and there is no prescription for what that looks like in during COVID-19 and beyond.
As a result, both parents and special needs children have struggled through a trial-and-error process to find what works—and what doesn’t—to encourage their children to engage with virtual education and/or in-person education is more difficult and different than it did before COVID-19.
While parents who are marginalized and could not get daycare, school and full time jobs were already struggling this is another war for survival. Parents now have become the school, the teachers, the lunch monitors, the school nurse, the recess monitor, and now they’re also becoming the researcher as they try out different routines and these varying roles has been incredibly stressful for both parents and child.
A lot of the questions that parents and guardians have is where do I get help and assistance with basic things such as food, disposable diapers, formula, etc. Parents of special needs children have been consistently and completely overwhelmed from working, juggling the school from home and work from home balance is very, very difficult for them coupled with economic hardships made worst by COVID-19
In dealing with this whole cascading nightmare where many parents felt they didn’t have any assistance from state agencies while historically many schools and other state agencies provided very little in terms of special education or services parents are dealing with lack of basic items.
This is a double-edged sword. This is giving special needs parents a much bigger burden, it’s tough for all parents right now, but it’s even tougher for parents of children with special needs.
You donation will help a small number of special needs children get basic items and we thank you.
Over the last 8 months we have provided food, disposible diapers and clothing to 9 families with special needs children and we want to continue supporting them and more.
Seismic shifts across our society—racial justice movements around the world and a pandemic—have further brought to light the socioeconomic inequities embedded in our ecosystems for centuries. As our communities adapt to new realities, the vision of how we support, influence, and provide for special needs people within our society is critical and can no longer be ignored.
Little has been done to provide people with disabilities with the guidance and support needed to protect them during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, even though many of them are part of the high-risk group except for including a sign language component to the briefings.
People with disabilities in Saint Lucia feel they have been left behind; measures, such as social distancing and self-isolation has become impossible for those who rely on the support of others to eat, dress and bathe.
Many people with disabilities depend on services that have been suspended for months and they did not have enough money to stockpile food and medicine, or afford the extra cost of home deliveries.
We have tried to provide basic food and items such as disposable diapers and wipes but this has in no way minimized the total marginalization of special needs children
We need your support to continue provide minimal support to those who are less able to provide for themselves in those critical times.
We distributed a total of 320 food parcels to as many households however this is not sufficient to last for any extended period and all those persons are already in dire need.
The sudden halt to all normal school and social activities since from March 16, 2020 will result in many physical outbursts as anticipated by many parents with special needs children as the sudden change in their routines while special needs children are confined to their homes for an entire month to protect and prevent the spread of the dreaded coronavirus.
Special Needs Children get very combative when they are restricted and their routines changes. This situation will become an extraordinary test case for the restrictive new reality soon to be felt by dozens of special needs kids and their families across the country.
The virus that causes COVID-19 is being passed from person to person through respiratory secretions. Experts think that the virus can also be spread by touching contaminated surfaces. For example, if you touch a doorknob or other surfaces that an infected person has touched or sneezed on then you touch your face, you could pick up the virus.
Special needs parents are marginalized and vulnerable in many ways including socially and financially, with products such as wipes, disposable diapers, paper towels, toilet tissue, hand sanitizers, etc being sold out they are left to fend for themselves in this crisis.
All personal care items including but not limited to paper towels, wipes, tissue, hand sanitizer, rubbing alcohol, etc is sold out our special needs and domestic violence victims are at risk more than ever as they do not have the financial means to buy bulk like everyone else.
With your help we can raise the monies necessary to provide this vulnerable and marginalized population the necessary supplies to protect themselves from this dreaded virus.
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