Special Issues for Children with Special Needs During The Pandemic

March 23rd, 2020 by

The special concerns are never-ending for families with children with special needs.  This pandemic is no different.  As stay-at-home orders have been implemented, the list of concerns is piling up as well. 

First off, I must say that I am not an expert in these matters but as a parent of a child with special needs, my anxiety is high right now due to the growing number of special concerns.  Below is a list of 4 concerns that might need to be addressed in the coming weeks: 

1. Do I take my child to a routine appointment or wait until this passes?  

I understand seeking medical attention for any serious symptoms, but what if I have a regular check-up scheduled?  Do I risk taking my child to a doctor and potentially exposing them to other, more dangerous germs?  I know my personal answer is “not unless I have to”.  This is an individual decision each parent needs to make, and it’s something that your medical team might be able to provide guidance on.  In some cases, missing a scheduled appointment might just be a lesson on “going with the flow”.

2. What about therapy services? 

My daughter receives Occupational and Physical therapy through school.  What do we do when those services are not available?  What about the home therapists through Early Intervention?  My personal answer is to contact those professionals working with your child to see if there are things you can do at home to keep up the progress!  Some ideas I have are sensory boxes, hopscotch, art projects (with scissors!), and our big plan is making a slide.  Okay, o the slide may not have anything to do with therapy but who doesn’t love a mattress on the stairs to slide down?  

3. What do I do if my child eats limited things and I run out during Quarantine? 

Full disclosure, my kids are obsessed with a certain brand of chocolate milk and will only drink that.  What do I do when my stockpile runs out?  I have already developed my ‘canned’ response to this issue but parents have got to be prepared for this issue to come up! The other option is to go with deception and pour another brand into the preferred brand container.  

4. What is the positive we can come away with from this? 

Mine, if I am quarantined for any length of time, is that I am going to potty-train my younger child!  The other thing I am choosing to focus is on, is how clean my house is going to be!  I now have time on my hands, and I was taught, “if there is time to lean, there is time to clean.”  There is always a silver lining.  What silver lining can you find?  Maybe there is a skill you really have wanted to work harder on with your child? This extra time at home might just be the break you need!  

Written by an Attorney at Sterk Family Law Group

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