School shut down causes unique problems for special needs students

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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) -- The coronavirus crisis has forced schools across the country to shut down.

It's hard to imagine what this means for students in the long run, but it's safe to say that parents of special needs students already have a distinctive list of concerns.

“I’m just worried about his academics and regressing back,” says Martha Deaton the mother 13-year-old autistic student Glen Deaton.

That's a thought going through many parents' minds right now.

Since school is out that means Glen’s speech and occupational therapy services are too.

“Different things that he cannot do, they teach him and it's very important,” says Deaton.

The mother is also worried about the social impact this will have.

“With autistic children, they are not a social interaction with a lot of people. He has one friend at school that he's very close too and he talks about him a lot and he misses,” says Deaton.

Martha has consulted with other mothers of autistic children.

She says many agree that homeschooling their exceptional students is tough because of one reason.

“We are not qualified really to teach a special child. It takes a different way to teach them,” says Deaton.

While Glen is faced with these issues, his mother says he extremely concerned for seniors and what this all means for their graduation.

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