By Karen Ventimiglia

As COVID-19 spread to our little hamlet, and the mandate from the Governor to shut down the schools took effect, parents have become “teachers” and have had to learn how to homeschool their children.  Our son is now being homeschooled and this has been a very difficult challenge, for us and for him.

Our child has high functioning autism and has issues understanding the difference between school and home. Schoolwork needs to be done at school not at home. Home is where he can play and enjoy himself. He has been very confused with this situation and we’ve had many issues, but my husband and I have a great deal of help from many friends, near and far, who are teachers. I’ve been given a lot of advice which I have appreciated and have put to use.  We try to keep to a normal schedule and, although school is closed, he still goes to bed at 8 pm Monday through Friday. Children with autism need a structured environment and have difficulty when they are not following their daily routine. This is the hardest part for him and us to deal with.

Homeschooling is not easy.  The Andes Central School teachers call us to gauge his progress.  They have provided us with guidance and have been very helpful.  They also miss their students.

I pray that this pandemic becomes a thing of the past soon, so that he and the rest of the children in Andes can go back to their normal routine—being children, running and playing together.~