Coronavirus pandemic poses challenges for mothers of children with special needs

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, parents with children of special needs are facing their own challenges.

Nowadays, Michele Thorne, who is the mother to two children on the autism spectrum, finds herself with her hands full, more so than ever before.

"I’m trying to work, I’m trying to do school work with them, and now I’m being turned into a therapist," said Thorne.

Thorne'e two children rely on therapy, but with schools closed, kids with special needs are no longer getting the services they need. This poses some challenges.

"My son is non-verbal, so I can’t go and ask him, like, 'Hey Jax, what do you get out of this story?'" said Thorne. "It requires a lot more work to get that information out of him."

Thorne says her kids started doing tele-therapies, but it’s not the same.

"To get your child to sit in front the camera and work with a therapist on the other side is very difficult, so most of the those training turn into parent training," said Thorne.

About a year ago, Thorne started an organization called "Differently Abled Mothers Empowerment Society" (DAMES). They provide online healthcare tools for kids with special needs and their families.

"We have the tools. We have the infrastructure. We just want to be somebody that says ‘hey, I know you’re stressed, I know you need help, here. Just have access,'" said Thorne.

In the meantime, Thorne has been trying to come up with activities with her kids and share them to others through the organization’s Facebook page. She also wants to share this message to others in the same predicament.

"Give yourself grace. Allow yourself to be the imperfect therapist. Allow yourself to be the imperfect teacher. Just be there for your children," said Thorne.

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