EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Virtual learning is something new and can be stressful for parents — especially for parents with special needs children.
One El Paso mother recreated her daughter’s special ed classroom at home. Ten-year-old Selah Adame has autism and is about to start the fifth grade.
Selah Adame gave KTSM a tour of her at-home classroom, pointing out the highlights of the space. “That pink tree, that music thingy, because they have it in the school,” she said.
Her mother tried to make the at-home classroom similar to the one she learned in at school.
“It’s set up so she has a sensory room in her actual classroom, so I’ve tried to kind of emulate that in our house,” said Lizette Adame, Selah’s mother. “So she has that area where it can be soothing and calming with soft music in the background, and a lot of dimming lights. She likes pink a lot, so I’ve tried to do that.”
However, she says hours spent in front of the computer will be difficult for her daughter, who has autism and ADHD.
“To be able to focus and sit down in the desk,” said Lizette. “I am unaware of how many breaks they get and how the day plays, so I think the biggest challenge is going to be to actually sit down and do her work.”
She added that she is thankful to still be working from home, so she is able to keep an eye on her daughter. However, she fears her daughter will need more one-on-one help than she will have time for.
“I have no interaction with her throughout the day because of it, so my worry is now when she goes back to school,” Lizette said. “I’m in my room doing my therapy sessions and she’ll be in hers. I don’t know how to be there or help her.”
While home for now, she may have to return to the office in October.
“I wouldn’t know what to do,” Lizette said. “I would certainly not want to put her in a daycare, so I think those are things that I’m sure everybody at home is also afraid of right now.”
She added it is hard to know what the best answer is on whether students should return to school.
“Putting your kids in danger putting them in school, but knowing that they need special modifications and adaptations in their IEP (individualized education program), you know how important it is to have them in a school setting,” she said.
For now the Adame family is trying to stay positive and do their best to make at-home school just as stimulating as in-person school.