My Autism Tribe
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES LEFT BEHIND AMIDST PANDEMIC
Children with disabilities have the right to a free appropriate public education
LEXINGTON, KY, September 3, 2020 — The U.S. Department of Education recently stated that schools must “make every effort to provide special education and related services” to students, however, most schools in Kentucky still do not have a plan.
As many public schools remain closed, students with disabilities that have an IEP (Individualized Education Program) have not had any accommodations provided for them in speech, occupational or other assistive therapy services since March. For many parents and caregivers, Covid-19 school closures have not only resulted in stress of balancing schoolwork and work responsibilities, but also concerns of losing therapy progress that was previously made.
For children that have autism, and/or sensory issues, and visual/physical/auditory disabilities it is impossible for them to sit and look at a screen all day. They often require someone with them, helping them throughout their day, and most parents are under-qualified to be the therapists and paraprofessionals their children had on a daily basis in school.
As soccer and football practices resume at schools, special needs parents can’t believe there still isn’t a better plan in place for their children. The parents are losing time, they’re seeing their children’s progress slip away, and they are losing hope in the system. My Autism Tribe founder and autism mom Susan Mills states, “There should be a plan for ALL kids regardless of their physical or mental abilities, economic standing, or parental involvement. It’s heartbreaking that students with any kind of special needs are being left behind, and parents that are also working, trying to provide therapy, taking care of other children – these families deserve more. Two days ago, the Kentucky Board of Education urged the KHSAA Board of Control to develop clear guidance to school districts and coaches on ‘how to best provide resources and mental health supports to student athletes who are unable to play’, and yet no one is mentioning providing better resources for our special needs families.”
The My Autism Tribe group was formed in 2019 to connect and support all autism advocates. Based in Lexington, KY, this group has a global following. It has a podcast featuring autism advocates including family, caregivers, and educators.
For more information on the organization and podcast, please visit http://www.MyAutismTribe.org