Mar 17

‘Absolutely, I’m Worried’: For Children With Special Needs, Unprecedented Coronavirus School Closures Bring Confusion, Uncertainty

On March 17, 2020, the 74 Million wrote a piece examining the immediate impacts of COVID-19 school closures on students with disabilities and asked Lauren Morando Rhim about her concerns.

Since a school district in suburban Seattle closed late last week as the coronavirus pandemic intensified, Jen Cole has worried that her 9-year-old son Gabriel, who has a developmental disability, could regress.

During previous summer breaks, the Mukilteo School District provided an extended school year to Gabriel, a second-grader with atypical William’s Syndrome who receives special education services that include tailored instruction, occupational therapy and speech language therapy. When campuses shuttered last week, the Mukilteo superintendent told parents that schools could go dark for “weeks to months.”

Gabriel’s education came to an immediate halt.

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