Mother explains the challenges her autistic son faces amid pandemic

Local

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Many students are back to school in person after nearly a year without seeing their classmates or teachers face-to-face.

For some the transition to virtual learning was easy, but for others, it was much more difficult.

Arianna Esposito with Autism Speaks says autistic children have also responded to the pandemic in different ways. Virtual settings were a place to thrive for some.

“Being able to learn in the comfort of their own home is really working for them,” Esposito said. “But for others, the change in routine, the uncertainty and not being able to access their regular services is really challenging.”

The pandemic proved to be challenging for 8-year-old Charlie Lamb says his mother, Eileen. When things got bad at the beginning Eileen pulled Charlie out of his therapy classes due to safety concerns.

“He had a regression,” Eileen said. “That is what happens with Autistic children often. If they are not working on skills all the time every day, they lose the skills.”

Charlie has returned to the therapy sessions once again, but now he wears a mask.

“He is wearing the mask at the center which is something we worked hard on because for autistic kids it can be really challenging,” Eileen said.

Eileen signed Charlie up for public school this year but decided he needed more support, so now she is looking for another school that can better cater to his needs.

“Building a new routine and involving your loved one with Autism and creating that new schedule and that new routine can be very impactful,” Esposito said.

It hasn’t been easy, but Eileen is determined for Charlie to continue his progress.

“In the short term, I would like him to succeed in a school setting whether that is a full-time special needs school or a public school with a lot of support,” Eileen said.

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