Mother of child with special needs has questions about future of schooling | KOB 4

Mother of child with special needs has questions about future of schooling

Brittany Costello
Updated: July 10, 2020 06:55 PM
Created: July 10, 2020 04:30 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- Parents with children who have special needs are concerned about how what public education will look like during the pandemic.

"For my son, online does not work, does not work at all," said Leah Ratledge, who has a son with special needs. "That was proven in the last few months here."


Ethan has autism and down syndrome. He goes to Aztec, a special education center within Albuquerque Public Schools.

Ratledge said her son checked out when schools were forced to move online. 

Looking ahead to the next school year, she doesn't believe her son will be able to adhere to the mandatory mask requirement.

"I don't know how to educate him because I haven't been trained to deal with this particular learning situation," Ratledge said. "Yeah, I know my son and I know what sets him off and what calms him down but I don't know how to teach him things he can learn because that's foreign to me... He needs these specially trained people."
The Public Education Department and school districts have mentioned that they will address the individual education plans for students with special needs.

The superintendent of Santa Fe Public Schools mentioned, possibly, having students with special needs go to school daily.

However, districts across the state are still finalizing their plans.

"There's no plan that we've seen and that's scary because if the plan is, again, to be online, my son isn't getting an education," Ratledge said. "And I understand that being face-to-face is hard right now and a lot of teachers don't want to do it because it's scary. So I don't know what the answer is. I can see both sides of the story. But my son needs an education too."

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