Special Education Day: Learning Loss

DELMARVA – For special education day, 47 ABC is highlighting learning loss within the community.

“The pandemic hit the disabled community very uniquely,” says Michele Gregory.  That’s something that Michele Gregory, an advocate, and mother of a child with disabilities says she’s seen within her own household. “My son being disabled, you know when he was in school just being out for the Summer, we would see learning loss for him, we would see regression,” says Gregory.

So what’s the cause of that learning loss? Education officials say lack of physical interaction is to blame. “A lot of them didn’t get much socialization for a year to 2 years and being able to backtrack and help them build those social skills to where they need to be has been a struggle as well,” says Brandy Brady, the Supervisor of Special Education for Somerset County Public Schools.

One of those interactions missing, Gregory says is the educators. “I think that has negatively impacted the children because we’re not able to find the staff with the proper kind of training that knows how to educate these children and can meet their needs,” says Gregory.

Gregory says during the pandemic many educators left the profession, but according to Brandy Brady the Supervisor of Special Education with Somerset County Public Schools, and Bonnie Walston, the director of Special Education with Wicomico County Public Schools, parents can help their children catch up at home.

“They also could reach out to their local library and participate. I think it’s important to build those social skills back up to be able to provide students with those opportunities to be in social settings,” says Brady. “We encourage families to stay involved with case managers for students with IEPs and disabilities from birth to 21, we encourage all parents to stay involved with their child’s teacher and ask if there are other reinforcing activities, that we can do,” says Bonnie Walston, the Director of Special Education for Wicomico County Public Schools.

Gregory says this is something we will continue to see unfold later down the line. She also says if you’re thinking about going into education as a career,  the special needs community absolutely would welcome you.

For more information about Wicomico and Somerset County Public Schools special education programs, click here.

Categories: Check It Out, Education, Local News, Maryland, National/World