COVID-19 and Special Needs Children Challenges

By Lisa Ackerman

For special needs families, COVID-19 presents significant challenges far beyond what typical children face with homeschooling. I am making this statement knowing the world is suffering, but families with special needs children are being hit hard.

I am grateful for this report from the TODAY Show, which clearly demonstrates how we are failing special needs families and their children’s IEP’s.  With time, this crisis will only get worse.

TACA is keeping track of new/worsening issues to support families through outreach.  These issues include:

We need to get creative. We need to care. The RAND study previously demonstrated that when we invest in special education, we have a high rate of return.  In fact, for every $1.80 spent we get over $17 in return.¹  Individuals with autism have the ability to become independent adults with therapies and treatments unique to their needs.²  What we do NOW is what sets the stage later for their success.

Another concern is the mental health issues that will crop up because of COVID-19.

TACA has tools to help families living with autism during the COVID crisis.  We are committed to helping families during this pandemic.  Families affected by autism need us to care and be thoughtful.  Supporting these families is a win-win situation.  Not only does it enrich their life, but society as a whole.



  1. Cannon, Jill S., Karoly, Lynn A., Kilburn, M. Rebecca. (2005). Proven Benefits of Early Childhood Interventions. RAND Corporation. Retrieved from
  2. National Institutes of Health. (2013, January 15). Study documents that some children lose autism diagnosis. Retrieved from

2 thoughts on “COVID-19 and Special Needs Children Challenges

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  1. Thank you, Lisa, for all you have done for our community. The information you pass along is needed. Twenty years I have been following you and your success. Wishing you and all of our families positivity, strength to get through COVID-19, and the coming years.

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