The Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Grandview Kids and their Families

Written by: Ashley Muir, Co-chair of Grandview Kids YAC

Over the course of the past year, everyone’s lives have begun to look extremely different. Whether you are going to work, school, or grocery shopping, you are doing it differently than you were before March 2020. For many Grandview families who rely on intricately balanced routines of school, therapy, doctor’s appointments, and recreation activities, this change threw everything off its axis. Parents were no longer parents, taxis, and cheerleaders but primary educators, therapists, and doctors for their children as well. Many Grandview Kids are now being introduced to teletherapy sessions, telehealth doctor’s visits, and a lack of organized recreation programs. Grandview graduates are now taking college and university classes entirely online, missing out on volunteering opportunities, losing work hours, and staying home. Grandview siblings are often somewhere in the middle, doing their best to support their siblings and find their footing themselves.

The Grandview Kids Youth Advisory Council (YAC), made up of clients, graduates, and siblings, stated feelings of frustration and disappointment due to family vacations needing to be cancelled, something I am sure many of us are feeling. They also described increased feelings of loneliness and feeling completely outside of their comfort zone in all aspects of their daily lives. Many members participated in recreation programs almost daily and are missing their karate classes, swimming sessions, exercise sessions, and sports teams.

“They want to be accepted and appreciated just like everyone else.”

The members of YAC wanted to give a special thank you to the adults in the community who are helping them during this time, in particular; their parents, teachers, and coaches who are doing their best to help them adapt. They emphasized a thank you to the adults who are working to explain this scary time to them and help them understand what is happening, those who are helping them maintain a healthy lifestyle, and those who continue to advocate for persons with disabilities and promote positive mental health.

“Just because you may not understand what someone is saying does not mean they can’t understand you and just because you know one person with a disability doesn’t mean you know all persons with disabilities.”

The Grandview Youth Advisory Council would also like to share some messages about children and youth with disabilities. They want you to know that:

  • They can do anything and do not let their disability stand in their way.
  • They want to be accepted and appreciated just like everyone else.
  • They want to be treated like their peers and included.
  • They are just as smart as you are and can be independent and responsible.
  • They still argue with their siblings and have each other’s backs at the end of the day.

Finally, please remember that just because you may not understand what someone is saying, does not mean they can’t understand you and just because you know one person with a disability, doesn’t mean you know all persons with disabilities.

They all have unique strengths and abilities, just like everyone else!

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