GLENDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) – A local school that works with students with developmental disabilities is now back open—after facing a multitude of challenges getting there.
Michelle Stroyne works at The Children’s Center, a school for children with disabilities in Glendale.
Safety measures like wearing a mask or social distancing are tough but particularly difficult for someone with autism.
For people with autism, routines and schedules are relied upon to make their world comforting, But that isn’t always possible during a pandemic.
“For the last five months it’s possible their structure was kind of turned upside down,” says Michelle Stroyne, with The Children’s Center, located near 51st and Glendale avenues, in Glendale.
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They are at the forefront of helping children with disabilities navigate their new world. Starting with having to wear face masks.
“Any little sensory piece like having it tug on their ears for example, that could feel like one thousand pounds,” said Stroyne
Over the summer, the school prepared parents and students for changes, like a remodeled campus adding outdoor spaces to classrooms.
“I have been staying at home being all bored, haven’t seen my friends for a while,” said Stroyne
Changes fourth grader Rodrigo appreciates. They also upped their cleaning routine, which is not easy on high touched surfaces like this sensory obstacle course.
“Students come in, one at a time they get to complete their task and then we take turns cleaning in between each student.”
Stroyne said they wanted students to feel safe but comfortable; they opted against installing Plexiglass for these furniture room dividers instead.
“Scheduling has been tricky but we are making it work and everybody is getting what they need hear,” said Stroyne.
If you feel like your child would benefit from this school reach out to Child’s Center to see if they partner with your district.