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Project Safe Schools: Doctors give conflicting advice on whether special needs student should return to school

Posted at 4:45 AM, Jul 29, 2020

TULSA, Okla. — Many families are preparing for a school year unlike any other.

Some are going back virtually, and others are going back to in-person instruction.

For parents with children who have disabilities and special needs, going back to school is a concern.

One Green Country mom, with two special needs sons, said she is worried most about her youngest because he loves being around people and interacting with adults and students.

Waverly Mouse said her youngest son's name is Turtle. Besides having learning disabilities in math and reading, Turtle is immuno-compromised, so every year, multiple times a year, he gets very sick.

He also has lung and heart conditions. This is why Mouse doesn't want Turtle to return to school in person. She said she's gotten conflicting advice from their doctors.

His pediatrician recommends her son return to the classroom. But, Mouse said her son's Pulmonologist said, "No."

Turtle's speech therapists have been helping him grow, but Mouse said he is still behind.

Learning from home may set him back even more. Mouse said this year has been tough, and mostly scary, because of the risks taken due to COVID-19.

I do carry a lot of stress, I worry all the time about my children, about my boys, making sure they get the help they need. It’s taken a long time to get doctors and specialist to understand I know what my son needs, and to try and get him the help.
Turtle's mother, Waverly

Mouse said they plan to see his cardiologist next month, and she hopes their recommendation will be the deciding factor on whether or not her son returns to school.

Tutors help Turtle for reading and math. He takes speech therapy and meets with other therapists multiple times a week.

His mom hopes he can enjoy his education regardless of what happens.

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