Parents of special education students desperate for kids to go back to in-person learning to prevent regression

Leaders address educational plans for special need students
Leaders address educational plans for special need students

HOUSTON – For parents of students with special education needs, the back to school debate is about more than preventing the spread of the coronavirus. For the parents of children who live with minor to severe disabilities, the push for schools to re-open is about making sure their students don’t fall any further behind.

Holly Abney’s 6-year-old daughter Embery has Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum.

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Holly Abney’s 6-year-old daughter Embery has Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum.

“She was born without, basically the middle of her brain that transfers right brain to left brain…left brain to right brain,” Abney explained. It affects her motor skills, such as walking and the ability to feed herself.

Embery hasn’t been in a classroom since the Alvin Independent School District went on Spring Break and switched classes to virtual due to the coronavirus pandemic. Between services provided by her school and private therapies, Embery usually receives physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and music therapy. But that all came to a halt when school doors shuttered.

“Her therapist was not comfortable traveling into homes after we started finding out about COVID, because a lot of the other kids that she saw had immune system deficiencies and she didn’t want to put anybody at risk,” Abney said.

Abney herself is a seventh grade English teacher and is entering her eighteenth year of teaching. She says she ready get back in the classroom with her kids.

She’s also eager for Embery to get back to the progress she was making months ago before everything came to a halt.