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.