Virtual learning causing difficulties for children with disabilities

Virtual learning causing difficulties for children with disabilities

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Tri-State parents continue to navigate their children’s education options as the COVID-19 pandemic disrupts the normal school year.

In the case of the Kirtman family, their children rely on sound, touch and in-person instruction.

“We had twins that were born quite early, quite premature,” Laura Kirtman said. “And they now happen to have multiple kinds of disabilities.”

This is why making the decision to have them go to school virtually or send them back in person was so difficult.

”We decided that sending them back to school was going to be the right choice for us,” Laura said.

“Especially for Alex - he’s more routine based,” Sam Kirtman, Laura’s husband said. “Getting out of his routine when school came to a halt was just a mess.”

Their children, Emma and Alex, don’t do quite as well watching their teachers on screens.

”With their age and their disabilities right now, there’s just no way to get them to focus on a computer,” Sam said.

So Laura and Sam have to trust the safety precautions at school will be strongly enforced.

”It is a little scary for us knowing our kids have these medical issues and are a little bit more at risk than your typical kids,” Laura said.

But as they weighed their options, the growth that Emma and Alex show with in-person instruction outweighed the risk of sending them back.

Something that gives the two parents comfort?

Laura is a school psychologist who works with children with different kids of disabilities, so she knows exactly what safety precautions will be in place

”You get first-hand knowledge of everything they’re doing before anyone else knows,” Sam said. “It’s comforting to know we’re sending them and they’ll be as safe as possible.”

Sam and Laura say their two children are looking forward to getting back into the school routine.

Copyright 2020 WFIE. All rights reserved.