One thing that I am so thankful for is that my son with complex special needs is no longer living at home. He left for the residential school three years ago and again, the timing was excellent for that. Firstly, he is doing well, and he is happy, and thriving. He is productive. He has therapists who are helping him gain independence 24/7. This is happening even during the pandemic.
And I, well, I am not a burned-out mess like I was before he left. I was simply unable to meet his needs, and my heart really goes out to the parents of kids with special needs who are trapped.
Parents of younger kids as it is being stressed. They are stressed by trying to pacify their typical kids while they are trying to juggle work and other responsibilities. Many kids are going to school but there are plenty that is sticking to virtual learning.
For parents that don’t have special needs kids, this pandemic has been a major struggle as it is. And many of them are burning out. I cannot imagine the parents who are struggling as they do their best caring for their kids with special needs during the pandemic. There are fewer services, and there may be no respite services available.
There are lockdowns in various places. This means these parents have nowhere to go. They are trapped at home with their kids with disabilities.
If they were not burned out before the pandemic, they will be burned out this year. And if these parents were already facing burn-out the same way that I was back in before my son left before the era of COVID, then I am fearful for their state now.
The fact of the matter is that these kids need constant stimulation and outside therapy on a consistent basis. Otherwise, their behaviors will become out of control. They will regress as well if they are not getting the therapy on a consistent basis that they need. For instance, if they were talking as a result of consistent therapy before the pandemic, after the lockdowns, they likely regressed with their speech.
If they were toileting well before the pandemic as a result of consistent therapy, then they likely are having accidents after. If they were reading well before the pandemic, they likely would have lost that skill during the era of COVID. Add the fact that parents of kids with special needs also have other home responsibilities, other kids, and work to manage.
While having to deal with the stress due to these uncertain times as it is with their kids with special needs regressing, as I said I worry for their state of being at this time.
Coping with the COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging for all families, but for families caring for children with disabilities, it can be especially challenging. According to the last US Census Report , one in every 26 American families reported raising children with a disability. Many of these families have […]