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Parent of special needs student shares virtual learning challenges, rewards

Liam López is preparing to make the big jump into middle school -- virtually.
Published: Aug. 14, 2020 at 2:26 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Liam López is preparing to make the big jump into middle school -- virtually.

Liam is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. His mother Lola says COVID-19 has thrown a wrench in many areas of their lives but virtual learning may be one of their biggest challenges.

Lola says her son learning through a computer was an adjustment in the spring and now they are looking to make another adjustment to start out the 2020-2021 school year.

"My son is transitioning right now," said López. "He is a special needs kid going to a different school this year so we already have challenges on-top of challenges. I don't know his new school and they don't know me."

She says her son's former teachers within Fayette County Public Schools were the difference makers in the spring, helping with therapy and day-to-day learning. While the commitment and patience also rides on the teachers, she believes the same should be expected in the parents of special needs students.

"I get it," said Lola. "It is overwhelming and I feel for these parents and these kids because they may not take advantage of the resources the way that they can. At the end of the day it is our job as parents and has always has been to make sure we are advocating for our children in school."

She says her son has already started receiving materials from his new teachers. Meanwhile, the days tick away to the start of school and she still has some concerns she is hoping will be sorted out.

"It seems it is going to be a lot of hands on work until we can get into a routine and just figuring out what the expectations are daily. I've got schedule after schedule and there is just a lot to sort through."

She says Liam’s sister, Britain has also been a big help.

They say regardless of the challenges, she would rather her family continue learning from home and not in a classroom while COVID-19 cases continue to rise and plateau.

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