What happens to special education programs during Covid-19? – With the entire country moving to online classes, the free and appropriate education of our students with special needs who attend school in mainstream classrooms is more at risk than ever. The percentage of students who receive special education support services in mainstream classrooms is close to 13%. Those students spend about 80% of their day in the mainstream classroom and are provided supplemental support in other areas for the remaining 20% of their day. These are averages with some of our kids requiring more accommodations and supports and others less.
Additional supports are provided because they help students do better in class. Speech or language services, managing social relationships, additional academic support in a core subject, or nursing care and feeding for those most affected.
As public-school districts move to online class instruction for the remainder of the year, parents and students who need more supports will have to do without. Parents who now work from home, must also manage the school curriculum of their children including that of their special needs student.
I cannot imagine the stress created for parents who must now add to their tasks the roles of teacher, behavioral therapist or speech therapist.