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COVID-19 has disrupted the lives of many individuals throughout the world. While some people who contract the disease may get little to no symptoms, others can become very ill and even die. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) claims those with certain preexisting conditions or compromised immune systems are at greater risk of life-threatening situations, including anyone with a neurodevelopmental or neurological condition like cerebral palsy (CP) and epilepsy. Therefore, parents with special needs children must take extra precautions to protect them, which we will discuss further in this article.
The best way to ensure the safety of a special needs child during this pandemic is by steering clear of it altogether since prevention is always the best option. Anyone who is in the home is encouraged to remain quarantined with the child and only one person should be designated to go out for required necessities while taking the following precautions.
• Wear a protective mask and gloves
• Try to keep a safe distance away from others (some suggest at least 6 feet)
• Only touch what is needed
• Do not touch any parts of the facial area while in public
• Wash hands continuously with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer unless soap and water is available
• Use a disinfectant like Clorox or Lysol wipes to wipe down anything brought home.
The designated person should try to stay secluded from the rest of the household, if possible.
Temporary school closures may not have such a big impact on a normal child’s education as most kids will be able to catch up in no time. However, for a child with special needs, it can put a huge dent in all the progress they have made. Therefore, it is important for parents to continue their child’s education. Check with the child’s school to see if they are offering distance learning during the outbreak, which may be available online. In addition, an educational plan should be discussed with their Individualized Education Plan (IEP) team, for the best possible outcome.
Having a regular routine is essential for children with special needs. Without consistency, children with disabilities can become dysregulated. Moreover,
children with CP may require specialized instructions and speech, behavior, occupational, or physical therapy sessions on a regular basis to maintain motorized skills, mobility, or other. These things are usually done at schools or special facilities. To maintain these services, teachers and physical therapists are providing online instruction, video tutorials, and even offer live chat for parents.
Many people across the globe have been impacted by COVID-19. With times being so rough and many job losses, people have a lot to worry about, including how they are going to pay the bills and put food on the table. Unfortunately, those with special needs children also have even bigger challenges to face, such as continuing their child’s therapy, education, and other services so they won’t fall behind or even have to start over. Fortunately, there are online services that can provide guidance and assistance to those in need, such as The Cerebral Palsy Guidance that parents can contact for help.
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