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A look at the education gap forced by the pandemic for students with Autism

Modern education is mostly taught over a screen, and while a few students might thrive this way, children with Autism will likely not.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A little over a year ago, students took a timeout from the classroom and went 100% virtual. Since then, the on and off from a screen to in-person has taken its toll on report cards.

"Our students were in classrooms for full days," said Patti Huskin, an associate professor of special education over at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, "and often qualified for extended services and now we're putting them into abbreviated virtual environments".

Modern education is mostly taught over a screen, and while a few students might thrive this way, children with Autism will likely not.

"It's hard for them to even be still or be in front of a screen for a long period of time," said Christal Valladares. She has three boys who all have autism.

"So, they can get very frustrated, very agitated learning how to work the Chromebook, they get lost easily," said Valladares.

She said whether kids are on the spectrum or not, learning from a screen is not easy.

"Imagine kids who don't get resources who don't have autism, they're having a hard time," said Valladares, "Imagine the kids that do have autism or do have special needs? It's a lot harder on them. A lot, a lot harder on them".

Experts said, it will take some time to see exactly how much students lost in the classroom.

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