The difficulty of distance learning for children with special needs may be overlooked

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EUREKA, Calif. (KIEM) – Returning to school amid the COVID-19 pandemic and having to participate in distance learning has been difficult for many students and teachers.

However, for students with special needs the potential level of difficulty often goes unrecognized.

Genevive Macias works with birth to five year old children all over Humboldt County and depending on the level of a child’s need, they may be receiving daily student-teacher interaction or weekly interaction.

One of the students enrolled in HCOE’s Special Beginnings Preschool is April Freeman’s two-year-old son who has autism.

Freeman adds that with distance learning, the fun and active aspect of school is dismissed. Executive Director of Changing Tides Family Services, Kerry Venegas, says that is a prominent concern she hears from parents with special needs children.

With something like wearing a mask that may seem so simple, children with special needs may consider it another isolating component. For a reason like this, HCOE Special Beginnings is continuing to work on creating as many safe, interactive opportunities as they can for their students and parents during this time.

Changing Tides Respite Service coordinates with services across the county to ensure the disabled community, both parents and students, is aware of and has access to the services available.