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Why I Feel for All the Kids With Autism Who Miss Going to School

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I wish there was something I could do for all the students missing school right now.

Parents reach out to me asking for advice about their kid’s routines after they’ve been vastly changed with virtual learning. Comments I’ve received have included:

How they miss their friends at school.

How they miss their teachers and therapists.

How teletherapy has been a learning curve.

The list goes on and on.

Then my best friend, who is a first-grade teacher, telling me how much he misses his students too.

It is during times like these we remember how strong and beautiful the relationships that evolve in school can be. It’s much more than what is taught in a textbook.

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Growing up with autism, I had a love/hate relationship with school. Mainly it was because I went to five different schools from K-8 while my parents desperately tried to find a program that worked best for my unique learning style. Even now as an adult, I’ve thought about what it would be like if I was going through a pandemic while I was still in school. I’m not sure how I’d manage.

I’d be missing my first-grade special education teacher right now, who had the ability to meet me where I was in my own development. I’d be missing several of my teachers terribly now. I’m not saying that adults in our autism and disability community aren’t going through challenges as well. I’ve found my own unique challenges during this time as an autistic adult, with most of my speaking engagements being either canceled or postponed. I wonder how I’ll make a living for the time being.

For all those families whose kids are missing school right now, know you aren’t alone. Continue mental health-checkins and trying to the best of your abilities to establish a daily routine that works best for your child. I believe things will turn around soon!

For more on the coronavirus, check out the following stories from our autism community:

This story originally appeared on Follow Kerry’s journey on Facebook here.

Getty image by Pong Chan.

Originally published: July 20, 2020
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