Lincoln mom of son with special needs supports in-person learning

Published: Aug. 18, 2020 at 7:29 AM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - It's been almost a week since most students in Lincoln Public Schools returned back to the classroom. Some are still choosing remote learning, but for one Lincoln family, they say that's never been an option.

10/11 NOW’s Kamri Sylve spoke to a mom of a high school junior enrolled at Lincoln East. Her son was diagnosed with severe autism and receives one-on-one help from the special education department at LPS. They say for their family, sending him back to school in-person was the best decision.

Cathy Martinez and her husband both work full-time jobs as essential workers and don't have the ability to work from home, so they have always been in favor of in-person learning.

They say providing supervision and on top of that, giving their son a quality education without in-person learning is almost impossible. Not having a routine and not being able to properly function with remote learning made it a struggle for their son when it was the only option back in March.

"I think that that's one of the reasons LPS is opening up for kids with special needs on a five-day-basis because they realize those kids didn't get an education in the spring of 2020," said Martinez.

Martinez says parents shouldn't feel bad if they have return back to work and send their kids back to school.

One of the other reasons the Martinez family supports in-person learning is because of the socialization it provides for kids.

Martinez tells 10/11 she likes that LPS now allows families to choose the option best suited for them. She says because of this, she also respects the right of what each parent decides for their own kids.

Martinez understands that some parents do have the option to stay home and help their kids with remote learning, and for that, she's thankful for LPS and their efforts to work with parents.

As for her son, he'll remain in the classroom.

"I think [LPS has] handled it well. They've been under extreme pressure and criticism. Just like every other entity and household and human being, it's a pandemic, and it's a novel pandemic. We're all just trying to figure it out day-by-day."

Ever since Martinez’s son returned back to school in-person, she says he’s been excited ever since. This mom also tells 10/11 having her son back in a structured school routine is best.

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