Lincoln parents promote in-person learning for their child with autism

Published: Aug. 16, 2020 at 9:52 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) -While thousands of Lincoln parents were given the option of in-person or remote learning this year, one family with a child with autism said in-person learning is the best option for their son.

The Petersen family said this type of schooling helps their son grow on a social and developmental level. One of the key factors in helping their son grow is being around all of his peers.

Max Petersen is in his first year of kindergarten at Christ Lincoln School.

“He is flourishing in this environment and likes to play with the other kids,” said his mother, Cris Petersen. His mother said that he grows day by day and also gives a lot of thanks to his classmates, especially when it comes to new norms of schooling.

“The mask-wearing was a huge struggle at the beginning, but as he sees his peers participating in the mask-wearing process, he is forgetting that it’s on and he’s wearing it longer and longer,” Petersen said.

While Max’s family said he’s adapting to other kids at school, they also wanted to share a video of Max and why he does things a certain way. Cris Petersen got some of his teachers and friend together to make a video about Max loves to do and other things that may bother him.

“It was important for me to share that early on in the school year because kids are already going through such a hard time with COVID,” Cris Petersen said. Cris said Max’s classmates are taking a liking to him and understand more of why he may act a certain way. She said she’s thankful not only for his classmates, but those talking about him in the video.

“I can not watch it without tearing up. It is the most touching thing ever because all of the people in the video truly care about Max and they have seen his journey and they are his cheerleaders and supporters,” Cris Petersen said.

Max’s family said they’re happy to be sending him to school and whenever he sees a new person, he tells them ‘That’s my friend.’

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