TEXAS -- With schools staying closed for at least a few more weeks, parents have had to find ways to make sure their kids still get the education they need, including parents of students with special needs, who are dealing with a different curriculum.
- Texas schools closed until at least May 4
- Closures pose unique challenge to parents of students with special needs
- State teacher association urges teachers connect with students in meaningful way
“it’s an interesting experience that we’ve never have been through before,” said parent Amy Whitehouse. “It is frustrating. It’s just so new to everybody.”
On top of learning how to homeschool her daughter, she's had to jump through additional hurdles.
“Our daughter is in second grade and she has been diagnosed with dyslexia and attention deficit disorder," Whitehouse shared. “It’s rather complicated and I don’t know how that’s gonna progress. We felt like our daughter is getting somewhere with the program and now it’s at a standstill.”
“It’s getting to be a really complicated for a lot of our families," said the Texas State Teachers Association's Noel Candelaria. “In special education, we have what’s called individual education plans that are developed not only just for the academic, but for the social and emotional needs of our students who are in special education.”
In Whitehouse’s case, her daughter worked with a reading specialist who dedicated an hour of instruction to her daughter each day.
While her school district provided education materials online, she said it didn't suffice.
“It was very, you know, one size fits all. So, yeah, it’s been hard trying to navigate how to home school your kid all of a sudden,” said Whitehouse.
Recognizing this unique situation, the Texas State Teachers Association advised teachers and school districts to figure out a way to connect with parents - especially those who have children with special needs.
“It is a challenging time and our teachers are coming through with their creativity and professionalism in trying to do the best that we can to make sure we’re meeting the needs of our students,” Candelaria said.
“Just take it day by day for right now,” Whitehouse said.