Clovis man shares his family’s story of trying to make distance learning work for a child with special needs

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FRESNO, California. (KGPE) – A Clovis man shared his family’s story of trying to make distance learning work for a child with special needs.

Doug Hansen’s daughter was born with brain abnormalities and is non-verbal.

He remembers the day Clovis Unified moved classes online.

“My wife was hysterical beyond belief. Just ‘I don’t know what we’re going to do,’ because we knew at that point it was just my wife and I,” he said Monday.

Hansen said his other children adjusted fairly well. But 19-year-old Angel needs constant care.

“She needs her diaper changed every two hours. She has a feeding tube so she needs a drink or her food every two hours,” he said.

Angel was in a Special Day Class or SDC.

Hansen said she can’t understand Zoom, and he doesn’t know how Clovis Unified could make distance learning work for his daughter, but would like more communication and help tailoring an individualized education plan.

He said fortunately Angel has not regressed, and the constant attention is actually leading to new accomplishments.

“She started to say my name about May 14th. Angel has a very limited vocabulary. She says momma, she says DJ she says Nana, and she says Emma and I don’t want to cry, but hearing the name Doug, she calls me Doug, it’s probably the best thing that’s happened this year,” Hansen said.

He said he’s had to switch his work schedule and make other adjustments, but since they can’t change the situation his family is trying to stay positive.

A survey showed the majority of parents in the district wanted in person teaching. But right now the area is on the state’s COVID-19 monitoring list, so it’s not an option.

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