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LESSONS LEARNED: Special needs family adjusts to remote learning

Since mid-March, one Tyler family has had to take schooling into their own hands.

TYLER, Texas — It’s been 9 months since the Ogden family began homeschooling their 13-year-old son, Alfie. 

Alfie lives with a learning disability that has made him non-verbal. When the coronavirus pandemic forced Alfie to start learning remotely, everyone had to make some adjustments.

“I decided to start a business where I could primarily work out of my home because I knew it would be a lot safer for my kids,” Alfie's dad, Robert Ogden, said.

Credit: Robert Ogden

In spite of the change, this family has found a system to help him keep a routine.

They put together a binder with Velcro spots on the front that Alfie can attach pictures to. Inside the binder are all the typical things that Alfie might ask for like snacks, his dog, or his personal favorite, cuddles with his mom.

But Alfie misses school, and school seems to miss him too. His dad explained how he became the designated mailman for his teachers. 

“He would take his teacher to her mailbox and get the mail. She was just telling us the other day we had a Zoom session with her, she said ‘I’m always forgetting to get my mail because I don’t have Alfie to take me to get my mail from my mailbox so it’s overflowing now,'” he said.

Credit: Robert Ogden

This family has had to adjust during the pandemic. They can’t help but miss the little things like family trips to Target, but they also know these times won’t last forever. 

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