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Mother concerned virtual learning may not work for students with special needs

She’s worried her daughter won’t get the physical, occupational and speech therapies she is used to.

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Parents across the country have many questions as to what virtual learning will look like this school year.

In Oklahoma City, public school students will begin 100% virtual learning for nine weeks when classes begin Aug. 31. But for students with special needs, that plan may not work.

“I’m glad they made the decision. I’m glad they’re trying to keep us safe. But those are our questions: How in the world are we going to do this?” concerned parent Kim Moore said.

It’s one of many questions many other parents have as virtual learning looms.

Moore has three children, including 6-year-old Lily, who is immunocompromised due to a neuromuscular disease.

“She’s about 2.5, 3 years old mentally. She has global delays, so walking, talking, social cues,” Moore said.

Moore said Lily learning from home is ideal due to the threat of the coronavirus. But she’s worried her daughter won’t get the physical, occupational and speech therapies she is used to.

“Can a child with her mentality even get on a Zoom meeting or do anything online? I mean, she can’t read or write yet,” Moore said.

Oklahoma City Public Schools Superintendent Sean McDaniel will meet with the Oklahoma State Department of Education this week as they address the needs of special education students.

“Our special education kids need us maybe more than anyone in our school system. They need to be face to face,” McDaniel said.

Moore said she simply doesn’t want her child or any children with special needs in the state to be left behind.

“I know there’s a lot of us special-needs parents waiting, kind of hoping for the best,” she said.