Children with special needs “are going backwards” due to stay-at-home orders and school closures amid the coronavirus pandemic, Fox Nation host Rachel Campos-Duffy, who has a daughter with special needs, told “Fox & Friends” on Thursday.
“Special needs children need much more consistency, they need to have their gains reinforced daily and so what we’re seeing is there is a huge regression,” Campos-Duffy, a Fox News contributor, said. “Special needs kids are going backwards.”
Campos-Duffy, host of Fox Nation's "Moms", made the comments the day after President Trump heard from concerned parents and teachers about the impact virtual learning has on students with special needs.
“Our baby is very little. She had to wait to start therapy until she kind of healed from her heart surgery, but she’s ready to start,” Campos-Duffy told host Ainsley Earhardt. However, she went on to explain, “the services aren't available in the way that she needs right now because of the pandemic and this is something that parents of special needs kids are facing across the country.”
According to the National Center of Education statistics, 7.1 million students, or 14 percent of all public school students between the ages of 3 and 21, received special education services in the United States in 2018 to 2019.
Campos-Duffy pointed out that the more than seven million students with special needs “receive the bulk of those services at schools and schools are shut down, services are shut down.”
She went on to say that “it seems that really only those who have money and resources” can “sometimes bring those services into the home can access them” during the pandemic, “but, even then, it's not the full range that kids need.”
Campos-Duffy said she heard from parents who feel like their children “have been an afterthought in this discussion.”
Earhardt asked Campos-Duffy, “What's the solution?”
“What I can tell you from my own experience is that the danger of our children contracting COVID versus the danger of not getting these therapies and regressing and losing so many of the gains that they’ve made, sometimes over years, is far worse,” she said in response.
“And so there needs to be exceptions and we need to just overall think about opening up schools and putting things in balance.”
She said it's imperative to weigh the possible dangers versus what we're losing when we close down schools, including the social interaction, the routines and the therapies.
“These are the things we need to think about in this discussion,” Campos-Duffy said. “Instead, I think a lot of the decisions that have been made have had a very political nature to them instead of scientific, and in this case medical, and special needs cases [are] not being considered fully.”