The Breakdown with Lois & Billy Reynolds: Parenting a special needs adult during COVID-19
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) -Meet Aly. She loves school because she thrives on routine, attention, and interaction.
The 38-year-old is nonverbal, has some high functioning social skills, but is challenged with academics and communicating.
Her parents, Lois and Billy Reynolds use sign language and pictures to communicate with her.
In the past, she’s attended adult day programs in Lexington, but those were closed because of Governor Beshear’s mandates dealing with coronavirus.
Aly has been at home since March 16. Her parents say they have seen her regress with behaviors.
“It’s been difficult for her. It’s such a transition,” said Lois.
Aly needs routine, constant interaction and attention, her mother explained to WKYT’s Sam Dick.
She was getting those things at Stewart Home in Frankfort for several years, but when the pandemic reached Kentucky the school closed.
”She was changing classes seven times a day. She had so much attention from so many people and recreational activities fishing club, swimming three days a week,” said Lois.
Lois knows they’re lucky in their current situation. She can be at home full time for Aly, but it’s not the same.
“Having a special-needs individual, being a caretaker, that’s a 24-7 job. This population, they thrive on routine. They’ve got to have routine, and she’s been taken out of her routine and put it into mine and our routine, which she really doesn’t like.”
“No.1, it’s been great. I love having her home but that’s not what’s good for her,” said Billy.
Right now, the path for Aly to go back to an adult daycare isn’t clear. That uncertainty weighs on the Reynolds.
“Obviously Sam, our hope is that it opens as soon as it possibly can because she needs back into her routine, back into [the program] with her friends, and then back to the environment that she was really thriving in,” said Billy.
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