COLORADO SPRINGS — As we work to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to shine a spotlight on virtual learning and its difficulties, especially when it comes to kids with special needs.
Parents all over are worried their kids are being left behind, but after our report aired, we found out about a Colorado Springs business that works to keep kids with special needs on track. They are a virtual business and help families all over the map.
Aimee Reed and her family moved from Denver to Charlotte during the pandemic.
“We were navigating a new school system, a new town, in the middle of a pandemic, we have a kid on an IEP, all of the challenges,” Reed said.
Reed’s eighth-grader Owen has a cognitive disability. He and his sister are in hybrid learning and he’s on an IEP, or Individualized Education Program. Reed said she found virtual tutoring at just the right time.
“She really has customized the curriculum and activities based on what his needs are,” Reed said.
“The parents feel so overwhelmed. They don’t know what to do with their child. They want specific curriculum or specific aspects to be taught, they just don’t know how to get it there,” Ginger Pillitteri said.
Ginger Pillitteri has been a special education teacher for 21 years and has been doing it virtually for the past three. With her husband working alongside her in Colorado Springs they launched Special Needs Tutors in December.
“They’re needing those gaps to be bridged between what they’re learning in school and what they could be doing to meet their full potential,” Pillitteri said.
She tailors the curriculum to the kids, their diagnoses, and their interests. If she notices they’re getting antsy they take breaks or mix things up with a game. The length of their sessions are dependent on the student's attention span as well.
“I take data on my students when I work with them. I have seen significant gains academically, emotionally, and socially,” Pillitteri said.
As a whole, Reed still worries about the long-term impacts these times will have on our students.
“I think honestly, the biggest losers in this whole pandemic are kids, frankly,” Reed said.
But Reed is thankful she found something to help her child stay on track, and said other parents should not hesitate to reach out if they’re struggling.
Special Needs Tutors does free consultations to see if they’d be the right fit for your family and also have a money-back guarantee. They also work to help parents find other resources as well. Click here to find out more.
Elizabeth's previous report on virtual learning struggles for kids with special needs: https://www.koaa.com/rebound/special-needs-education-struggles-during-the-pandemic
Elizabeth's previous report on a Pueblo group that helps kids with special needs: https://www.koaa.com/homepage-showcase/group-in-pueblo-helps-kids-with-special-needs