CAPE CORAL, Fla. — Vanessa Rivera describes her son Emanuel as sweet, caring, smart and very energetic.
He has autism and will be starting fourth grade next month, but sending him back to brick and mortar learning is a risk Rivera’s not willing to take.
“We all contracted COVID,” she said.
Just last month she says everyone in her household tested positive for the coronavirus starting with Emanuel.
“After watching everyone, and having myself feel it and have to go through it, I definitely do not want my child going back to school,” said Rivera.
So, she choose Lee Home Connect. Her three kids will have the structure of a teacher guiding them through each live lesson every day.
And Emanuel will get extra help from Family Initiative, a foundation that provides support for children with autism. The foundation’s president David Brown calls their support crucial to get students back on track.
“Through the end of the school year last year through summer time. We’re really going to have to lean in I think in a pretty significant way to make up for some of the loss over the summer and continue their growth moving forward,” he said.
Only about eight students have signed up for their face-to-face services so far. Vice President Anjali Van Drie shared some advice all parents can benefit as they prepare for this unique school year.
“Start to alter that schedule to meet the needs of what will be happening here in a few weeks. Whether it’s getting up earlier, whether its spending more time at a table in directed activity. Whether it’s less time on those electronics or outside,” she said.
The deadline for Lee County parents to select a learning option is this Sunday, You have until August 3rd to actually enroll.