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Managing stress at home with children that have disabilities

Posted at 4:29 PM, Apr 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-30 21:02:12-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Having children at home during the COVID-19 pandemic can already be stressful. The stress has become especially hard for parents with children that have disabilities.

Local mom Kimberly Sanchez's 6-year-old son Liam has autism, and she said she's had to wear many hats during the stay-at-home orders: mom, teacher, and therapist, among them.

"I'm not qualified in Special Ed," she said. "I don't know all the tricks and stuff. I try -- but I don't know."

Sanchez said the biggest help has been putting Liam on a strict schedule, an idea that was suggested by Therapy Connections of South Texas.

"It allows them to know what to expect next," said Behavioral Analyst and Owner of Therapy Connections of South Texas Robin Blue. "It's safety, it's consistency, it's routine; it lets them know (what to expect), and these kiddos thrive on that."

Blue is a board-certified behavior analayst, licensed behavior analyst and board-certified music therapist. She says people on the autism spectrum need a structured schedule: It helps provide opportunity for learning and engaging with the people around them.

Sanchez said her biggest fear is what will happen when the pandemic is over? Will Liam be able to re-adjust to his pre-pandemic regular schedule? Will he behind in his learning because he has been away from teachers for so long?

Although Sanchez has certain times every day for Liam to go to attend class virtually and interact with his teachers and therapists, she said having him physically there is beneficial.

Blue believes that once we go back to normalcy, children like Liam will be ready.

"That's going to be a bit of a challenge when we get back into the swing of things, but I think they'll be more than ready for it," said Blue.

You can contact Robin Blue on the website, or Therapy Connections of South Texas Facebook Page, for any other questions and concerns.