In this episode of Parenting Impossible, Host Annette Hines and her husband Mark Worthington discuss issues surrounding sending children back to school in the Fall. Annette addresses the additional challenges kids in the special needs community are facing during this transition period and shares her experience with distance learning.
“This pandemic has given us an opportunity to look at our educational system for all children with fresh eyes – but particularly for our children with special needs,” says Annette. “Let’s put all our preconceived notions aside about education, wipe the slate clean, and start fresh. Here are only a few things to consider:
1.As the parent/caregiver, do you have the ability, desire, and time to create your own curriculum for your child?
2.As the parent/caregiver, do you require special training that you don’t yet have to teach or care for your child?
3.Has your child responded well to less social stimuli at home?
4.Has your child regressed without their peers?
5.Does your child have a low incidence disability such as blindness, deafness, etc?
6.Does your child require special equipment that you can only get at school, such as a vision room or a standing frame?
7.Does your child have a medical condition that will make it too risky to return to a classroom without a vaccine or herd immunity?
8.What else needs consideration?
It costs a lot to educate our children in the system that we have. We may want to think through how we rebuild our special education system to be responsive to the educational needs of children and families – and let’s actually include families’ voices this time. Secretary DeVos just announced that if schools were not going to reopen then she would hand out the money to families instead to educate their children. Well, why not? We could use it!”
Annette Hines has been practicing in the areas of Special Needs, Elder Law, and Estate Planning for more than 20 years. Ms. Hines brings personal experience with special needs to her practice and podcasts as the mother of two daughters, one of whom passed away from Mitochondrial disease in November 2013. This deep, personal understanding of special needs fuels her passion for quality special needs planning and drives her dedication to help others within the special needs community.