Preparing for Quarantine
As more and more school districts are closing, I can feel the tension rising in the Facebook group. I get it, I’m nervous too. Kevin has had 3 surgeries in the past 18 months or so, which resulted in an extended time at home. So maybe that’s why I’m not as worried about this. After his second brain surgery, we were home together for a month.
Of course, a government-mandated quarantine will be a bit different, as we won’t have the choice to leave.
But hey, no one can prepare for a disaster like a mom with GAD! Ha! My brain takes me through every scenario. So here’s what I’m doing, just in case.
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How to Prepare for Quarantine for the Disability Family
- Stay Connected: Start with bookmarking and saving your favorite reliable websites. This would include your state’s and county Departments of Health, local hospitals, schools, favorite news channel, etc.
- Be Patient: This is new territory for everyone. Some states and counties will handle it better than others. We’re in this together, so stay human.
- Have an Emergency Plan: I have a whole separate post on Family Emergency Plans, but make sure you have one. This is different from a quarantine plan, in that it is a very sudden onset. As in, let’s say government officials announce that everyone has to quarantine starting now. How will you meet up with your child? If your household is quarantined and a tornado hits (it is tornado season) what’s the plan?
- Contact your child’s service providers: If we are stuck at home for an extended period of time, think about what can be provided virtually and what cannot. Ask your child’s teachers and therapists for a list of things you can do and practice at home.
- Have a plan for Prescriptions: See if you can switch to mail order. Or, if it’s a daily, long-term medication, ask if you can get a 90-day supply instead of 30. We are at the mercy of insurance companies here, but it can’t hurt to call and ask.
- Have a plan for Medical Supplies: Call your SME and ask if they expect a disruption in service. Many of these supplies are made in China. Call your doctor and ask about things like extension kits, and if it’s ok to use them for 2-3 weeks instead of 1. (if they last!)
- Longest snow day ever! Except for a few regions of the country, many of us have experienced being snowed in. Think about what you did then or can do. Go to the library and get books and movies. Set up online renewals in case you can’t get in to return them. Consider getting Netflix or Amazon Prime for shows. Coloring books, puzzles, lego sets, crafts or other activities–stock up!
- Know yourself and your kids: I love being at home. Not everyone does. Watch each other for signs of stress and do what you can. Hopefully, if we do end up being quarantined, we’re at least allowed to go out and walk our dogs or something.
Online Learning for Kids with IEPs
I’m fielding a lot of questions about this scenario: School closes, goes to online learning. However, this option is not appropriate for your child.
This is new territory for all of us. Even with the H1N1 letter below, online learning really wasn’t an option then.
Be proactive. ASK. Email your special ed director, explain your situation and ask what is going to be done. There isn’t going to be any IDEA guidance on this specific issue.
Have solutions and ideas ready. You know your child better than anyone–what will they need to maintain their knowledge base during an extended crisis like this?
Quarantine Prep Checklists
What IDEA says
IDEA does not address this specifically. However, OSEP did put out guidance.
My advice here is going to be what it always is when it comes to IEP issues: Be Proactive. Give the school time to figure it out for a day or two, but keep in mind that too often, our kids are an afterthought.