What We Need - Vanessa Stansbury

June 22, 2020

My name is Vanessa Stansbury and I am Patterson's mother and caregiver. Miles has autism. We live in New Castle, Delaware. The COVID-19 emergency has adversely impeded Miles daily routine in numerous ways which dictates how our family functions. The COVID-19 emergency has forced me to become a special education instructor which is NOT my skill set. I fear that Miles will be further delayed in social skill development and his academics as completing self-paced packets with me attempting to facilitate his learning (without any teacher manual or extra information) is proving ineffective. I am deeply concerned that Miles and students of his district will be promoted to the next grade without truly understanding the fundamentals of their respective grades. Furthermore, during the COVID-19 emergency I have been fortunate enough to maintain my employment however adequate childcare options are not available. Approved childcare options are open, with inflated costs however I do not get extra income to be able to afford those options and Miles is often perceived as challenging because of how he interprets the world. Our natural supports are older relatives and grandparents with compromised health systems which ultimately means no place for Miles, meaning I have to take off from work. This also affects my clients and their families because I'm a home visitor who monitors safety and mental health of families and promote healthy attachment to parents and their infants. I know you are working on the fourth relief package for COVID-19. I want to learn more about how you are going to help people with disabilities and their families and caregivers in this package. Thank you very much for your time.