The pandemic has had a real impact on special needs families and programs. Here’s how they adapted and what they’ve learned.
Chinh Tuong Nguyen’s son, Patrick, was born on July 5. He rarely cried during his first 8 months, even when he had the chickenpox.
“I thought it was very normal and I was a lucky mom at first,” says Nguyen.
But after his first birthday, Nguyen started to question why Patrick did not respond to his name or eat, talk and play like other kids in her extended family. After seeking out answers and doing a lot of research, Patrick was eventually diagnosed as autistic. Nguyen connected with the Regional Center of Orange County, a non-profit organization dedicated to serving individuals with developmental disabilities and their families, and Patrick entered their Early Start program at 15 months of age.