A tutor who works with children with autism spectrum disorder has spoken about the challenges she has faced working during lockdown.
Jennifer Nodwell has been working with nine-year-old Freddie with autism spectrum disorder for five years.
She said: “It’s been really hard for Freddie to come to school during lockdown, just having to wash his hands as he enters the classroom has been a really difficult thing.”
Jen says that changing Freddie’s routine has caused him to ‘meltdown’. Freddie is partially nonverbal, meaning that communicating how he feels and what he wants can be difficult for him.
She added: “Freddie tends to meltdown by stamping his feet, crying, getting really upset. A lot of the time he shouts fire, which isn’t great in a classroom full of other children!”
Freddie is not the only child in his school with autism. Jen talks about a boy in year five with the same disorder that has not seen anybody since the start of lockdown other than his parents.
“Now whenever he sees his mum and dad talking to another adult or anybody, he goes into meltdown because he can’t cope with now people interacting with his mum and dad.” Jennifer said.
Children have had to find out off their parents and teachers why these restrictions have been put in place but has this been the best course of action to make them understand what is happening.
Jen explained: “At the beginning we didn’t mention the word COVID or coronavirus because we didn’t want to scare the kids.”
“There’s been absolutely no help or support offered for children like Freddie. The only good thing really was that they could go into school.”
“whether that’s done more harm than good I’m not sure of.”