Tag Archive for: COVID-19

We are searching on a daily basis to find information to assist parents as they decide on how to proceed with school reopening. We came across this article from NBC News, Do children spread coronavirus? What doctors say about going back to school 

 These passages are from the above article “In the U.S., children make up about 22 percent of the population, but kids account for only 2 percent of coronavirus cases so far, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.” “It’s not yet known what accounts for that disparity, said Dr. C. Buddy Creech, an associate professor of pediatrics at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee.”

  Now that got us thinking why are the numbers the way they are? We searched more and came across this article from our home state of Florida. More than 7,000 kids have tested positive for coronavirus in Florida. 12 have MIS-C via The Miami Herald dated 7/1/2020

 Back to the question why the disparity? As we continue to research we have found that children have not been tested nearly as much as adults and most children, thank goodness, will never have to see the inside of an emergency room because of having COVID-19. Here is what the Miami Herald article states about testing children, “When COVID-19 testing first became available in March, testing was restricted to those who were experiencing symptoms and met a specific criteria, including having recently traveled to a high-risk COVID-19 area. Now, almost anyone can be tested for the disease regardless of symptoms, though some sites in South Florida still do not accept children younger than 12.”  

 Now that takes us to the states weekly COVID-19 pediatric report which at the time of The Miami Herald article the number of children tested in Florida was 42,287. Of those tested 7,197, or 17% tested positive, the report stated. As of July 9th the number of children tested in Florida was 54,022. Of those tested 16,797 or 31.1% tested positive, the report states.   

 According to the numbers, the trend is going in the wrong direction. If a school decides to reopen, its number one priority must be the safety of the children, teachers and staff. The numbers speak for themselves.

*The pediatric report for Florida changes every Friday. To see the new numbers visit Florida Health COVID-19 Response

Photo by Caleb Oquendo

As a parent with a child with additional needs my wife and are pleased with how our school has transitioned with our son’s virtual learning. We are also pleased how his virtual therapy sessions have gone. Even though this is going well, it has its challenges. We do feel that all of this screen time is affecting our son’s behavior in a negative way. To reduce the negative behaviors once the lessons are completed we make sure that electronics of any kind are put away for the rest of the day. That includes screen time with friends and family. With running Additional Needs, Inc. I read articles about our community on a daily basis, I have read over and over how difficult virtual learning is for the children and parents, and in some cases, children are still not receiving any services. For the families that are doing virtual learning many of them feel the school is doing what they can but because of the circumstances it’s not enough. We feel the same way. Even in our case we believe schools and therapists can’t replace in-person teaching and therapies with virtual teaching and therapies. Here are articles that make this point crystal clear. Because we must stay home at this time and do things virtually we’ve also added articles that help parents navigate virtual learning. 

Below are articles on how difficult virtual learning is for children with additional needs:

No one to help me’: Special education families struggle with coronavirus school closures via USA Today

Two senators — a Democrat and a Republican — urge Betsy DeVos not to gut special-education law but provide ‘narrow’ flexibility to school districts via The Washington Post

Coronavirus: Parents of children with special needs experience challenges with at-home education  via WYDAILY

Disability rights advocates urge Education Secretary DeVos to ensure special education students receive equal services via The Washington Post

How are we going to do this?’: Students with special needs could slip behind via MPRNEWS

Special education during coronavirus: What should parents tolerate, demand? via WHYY PBS

Coronavirus: Special education at home could set some kids ‘way back’  via Dayton Daily News

The Pandemic Is a Crisis for Students With Special Needs via The Atlantic

Online learning presents unique challenges for special education students and families via kxan

Here are articles to help parents with virtual learning:

8 Tips for Conducting Virtual IEP Meetings via edutipia

I’m Homeschooling 3 Kids With IEPs And 504s — Here’s How We’re Making It Work via Scary Mommy   

Iowa Parents Seeking Solutions for Special Education Learning at Home via 13 NEWS

Parents of special needs children need community support during the pandemic  via Nj.com

Here’s how Washoe County students with special needs are adapting to distance learning via NEWS 4

Educators Get Creative To Serve Students With Disabilities via npr

Through this experience we believe both the families and the teachers will have greater appreciation for one another.