Sudbury

Sudbury mom of special needs son says self-isolation during COVID-19 is a struggle

Some parents who have children with special needs are struggling. Self-isolation means that there is no longer a routine, therapy or a break from being together twenty four hours a day.

Without his school routine, therapy and extra curriculars, 16-year-old Jayden is struggling

Corrie Vasiliou and her 16-year-old son Jayden Beepat. He has a chromosome deletion called 1p36 that causes autistic tenancies. (Submitted by Corrie Vasiliou)

Some parents who have children with special needs say they are struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic. Self-isolation means that there is no longer a routine, therapy or a break from being together 24 hours a day.

Sudbury's Corrie Vasiliou's 16-year-old son Jayden has serious autism tendencies and can be aggressive. She has three other children aged 7, 3 and 6 months to look after. She says she can't leave her oldest son alone with them. 

"You know, I have to keep a very close eye on him because he constantly attacks them if I'm not within close proximity of the children." 

Vasiliou says Jayden has global developmental delays that also makes him off balance when he's walking and he is non-verbal. She says the first week was ok, but this week is getting really tough. 

"He will hit the other kids, pull their hair, scratch them," she said. She adds there are times where he is "purposely having accidents in his pants."

She says she has to find creative ways to keep her other children safe. 

"A lot of the time I have to take all the other kids and bring them into my room and lock them in my room and go try and calm Jayden down where he is in the house," she said.

Siblings (left to right) Marcus, Mia, Lucas and Jayden. (Submitted by Corrie Vasiliou)

Vasiliou says without his daily routine of going to school where he gets special support, each day is getting harder.

Kathy Cameron is one of the teachers at his school and would also take Jayden after school to help out.

"It breaks my heart. I would like to help more but society has said you are not allowed to," she said.

Cameron says there is talk of doing some sessions with their students through FaceTime lives but nothing has been decided on yet.

She says it isn't just school that they are missing out on, they also can't go to their swim programs or outings like bowling. Some of the children also have music or horse therapy sessions.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jan Lakes

Producer

Jan Lakes is a producer at CBC Sudbury. You can reach her at jan.lakes@cbc.ca or find her on Twitter @lakesCBC.

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