Families of Children with Special Healthcare Needs Push through a Pandemic Mountain

by Nanfi Lubogo
As the world abruptly shut down due to COVID-19, the reality of the biggest pandemic of our lifetime began to sink in. In the beginning, many treated the situation as a vacation- a “Coronacation,” they called it. As days seemed to get longer, boredom and endless Zoom conferences became the order of the day. Most people accepted the “new normal.” School districts implemented distance learning and the majority of families were able to adjust and deal with the inconveniences that arose from things we’d long taken for granted pre-COVID 19.
However, in some households in Connecticut and across the nation, isolation, anxiety, and uncertainty very quickly set in. Families of children and youth with special health-care needs had to figure out how to explain to their child that their school, activities, or programs were shut down. They could not see their grandparents and friends. Parents had to figure out how to teach their child as their special educators would, dealing with difficult behaviors, anxiety, and depression that were triggered by these sudden changes in their schedule. Parents were doing this while balancing the demands of work, either remotely or in person for those deemed “essential workers.”

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