Families with special needs children adjust to homeschooling challenges

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MERCED COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) — For families with special needs children, navigating the COVID-19 uncertainty is another challenge they face while homeschooling their children.

Talking on video chat is an adjustment many families have made in California as the world continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.

A kitchen table is now a desk and my sister-in-law, Danielle Newton, is now a teacher to her daughters: Zoe, 12, and Scarlet, 9.

“I got a middle-schooler and a fourth-grader so it’s huge differences. One being special ed is also a difference. She doesn’t always like to pay attention to me as much as the teachers,” Newton told FOX40.

Newton’s youngest daughter has Angelman Syndrome which limits her speech and has impacted her health.

“She has respiratory issues, and stuff like that, light fevers will cause her seizures to go,” explained Newton.

Danielle is also a special needs teacher.

I asked her “What kind of questions have parents posed to you that you’ve been able to help them with?”

“Like, ‘What do I do when my child’s bored? All my child wants to do is hang around.’ You just like inform them that they need to keep up with a routine. Special ed kids need a lot of consistency, and this is a hard time because they don’t understand right now,” said Newton.

For my nieces, being home is quite the shift

Parents, like Newton, are doing their best. 

“(Zoe’s) helping out with her sister more, which is nice, because it teaches her more compassion,” said Newton.

Danielle told FOX40 what has helped parents like her are online resources that provide online learning lessons.

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