Letter to the editor: We can do better in supporting neurodivergent students

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As a community, we’ve supported one another through means that we know best. In many ways, our efforts have started to wear heavy in the community. 

In the aftermath of Covid, families are tired, and often trying to find the best way to voice the effects that staying home and staying online had on their lives. Specifically, families who seek help, with a child who has autism spectrum disorder, or social-emotional disorders such as PTSD, anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder. While these are diverse challenges among those with these disabilities and disorders, there are specific needs that as a community we have the means to provide, in order to support these Vermonters.

Together we can better support our neurodivergent students in the home, school and community setting as we come to hear the voices and experiences of the families who struggle most. To achieve this, our focus needs to be on ensuring additional child care specialized in these needs and providing a safe, effective place to express concerns.

Bringing forward the experiences of children and their families will ensure the ethical change that is required of our community. Families have shared experiences reflecting deep concern, and heartbreak as they navigate support. For example, a 7-year-old autism spectrum disorder student was left in tears as she attempted to engage in her Zoom class. Often the class had moved on before she could answer, or before giving her time to articulate her response. 

Overlooked events similar to this are detrimental to any individual’s well-being and growth. By getting their voices out in the community and asking what they need, we can start a conversation about how to best provide support.

Cassidy M. Sweeney


Read the story on VTDigger here: Letter to the editor: We can do better in supporting neurodivergent students.

As Reported by VTDigger