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Sunday, November 29, 2020

Autism and COVID in Guam

In The Politics of Autism, I discuss the day-to-day challenges facing autistic people and their families. Those challenges get far more intense during disasters.  And coronavirus is proving to be the biggest disaster of all. Providing education and social services is proving to be very difficult

 John O'Connor at the Guam Daily Post:

With Guam schools still closed over COVID-19 concerns, many parents have had to double as teachers, even if only to help with online learning or hard copy lessons. It has been a somewhat traumatic experience, Abigail Ogo said.

"I even got myself a lesson planner. With that it helps me with the kids and the boys and their lessons every day, just so I don't go insane with where I start," she said.

But in addition to home schooling, the mother of five is also one of many parents on island navigating the pandemic with the unique challenge of raising a child with autism.

There are 244 children within the Guam Department of Education with autism, but that represents only public school students. Josephine Blas, president of Guam Autism Community Together, estimates there might be around 500 children with autism on island.