EL PASO, TX: Students with special needs are falling behind in school this year. This is information is from an El Paso doctor. Carla Alvarado said many times children with autism and learning disabilities are the ones she is seeing struggling the most. Alvarado is a child and adolescent psychiatrist.
In El Paso, school districts have continued to push back the start of in-person learning. Unfortunately, Alvarado says having one-on-one, in-person interaction is the most important thing for students with special needs. These are serious and negative repercussions to this push back.
“I’m seeing an increase in self-injurious behavior, an increase in deterioration, and an increase in anxiety with that population,” said Alvarado.
All children can benefit from direct interaction with their teachers but particularly those most vulnerable are students with special needs.
Although, parents, though very loving and attentive, as much as they can be trying to balance work and home life are not substitutes for specialized educational professionals equipped to handle the particular challenges facing children with special needs. In addition, the kids also suffer from feelings of despair and isolation that come with staying safe at home for prolonged periods of time.
Not having access to therapists and other special education services, like they normally would is the direct result of remote learning.
Kids are regressing in their social skills and in some cases are even acting out violently. As a result, parents across the country are reporting that their kids with ASD can’t engage in online lessons.
An individualized learning plan for special needs students is a requirement by all school districts.
Alvarado says limiting isolation and engaging in daily activities can provide comfort for children with special needs.