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To Parents of Kids With Disabilities Navigating COVID-19, From a Special Education Teacher

Dear parents,

I am a special education teacher, as well as a sibling of someone who has autism (my twin brother). The past month and a half has been a whirlwind of events for all of us; some of these events have truly tested our patience. You’ve sweat. You’ve cried. You take a break here and there when the kids are asleep. You may have had to adapt to working from home or even being unemployed.

Your kids are out of school, so you have to place new demands on them to help keep them caught up academically and socially. You work together with their teachers to keep up their education online. That is not always easy to do when you have to sometimes chase the kids around with the laptop or monitor them until they get everything done. They’re not having it, so you’re combatting new meltdowns and behavior patterns.

Some days, you’re honestly just trying to keep them safe, fed and happy. Dishes pile up. Bath time doesn’t always happen. You fall behind on your work. Sometimes you just need a minute, but a minute doesn’t seem to exist in the mix of all the chaos.

I’m here to tell you that you are doing a great job. We all know our kids aren’t exactly cut out to deal with the sudden life changes brought on by the pandemic. Their routines are completely disrupted and that is straight-up tough. This has become their new normal. Think about it — throughout this chaos, who has been the captain of the ship?

You!

You are with them 24 hours a day without anywhere to go. You are true warriors. You’re making it happen every day, even though it feels impossible. You never realized how strong you were until being strong was your only choice. I see you. Your kids see you too. Keep hanging in there and making the best of each day.

For more on parenting during quarantine, check out the following stories from our community: