As a mom of a special needs child that is 3 hours away I often wonder how do I stay connected to my son? This challenge has been amplified with the global pandemic and social distancing measures in place. The city he resides in has been a hot spot for Covid-19 for some time now. Thankfully, the organization that is caring for him called to shelter in place sooner than later. However, this means our world has been turned upside down. No weekend home visits.
Photo by Gerd Altmann from Pexels
The main challenge is not to upset my son while still remaining a part of his world. After several weeks of no visits I decided to try an experiment. I wanted to see if a video chat would be possible. Obviously a video chat with a nonverbal child is much much different. It was time to test the waters. I decided to empower an Uncle to the task. I called Uncle Mike and asked if he would try a Zoom meeting with Tristan. He agreed and even suggested I watch without Tristan knowing I can see him. Mike coordinated the call with his group home manager.
Tristan got on the Zoom meeting with Uncle Mike while I watched. Tristan giggled and was very happy. He was thrilled to have a “meeting” with Uncle Mike. Uncle Mike chatted for a few minutes and then ended the call. I waited a few hours to see if Tristan’s behaviors increased by checking in with his group home manager. Tristan was fine. It was a success!
The next week we were able to do a Zoom call as a family. It went fantastic. Tristan was excited to see us. He stayed on the call for 2 minutes. Then he said “bye.” Short and sweet.
I am grateful we are equipped with technology during this time.