Last March, when the pandemic really started to take shape here in Ohio (we went on a shelter in place order), this article came across my Facebook feed that made me laugh out loud.
I immediately forwarded it to my son, who is the true summation of the people described in this article. I felt reassured because the article says:
To prepare for the onslaught of the deadly disease, nerds are changing absolutely nothing and are expected to rise up to rule the post-Coronavirus society, as they are the ones best adjusted to being sheltered in a basement, garage, or room for many days at a time…
I knew that my son would be able to occupy himself and enjoy the time. I was right. He has almost thrived. He has done some new coding, developed a great group of like-minded friends online, and even started doing his own laundry.
I’ve met many kids like him. Happy, healthy, and rolling with the twists and turns that come with a (hopefully) once in a lifetime pandemic.
I also know, and read about, kids who are not thriving or even staying status quo. Kids who have so much anxiety and sadness they are having trouble with day to day functioning. Their grades are suffering, they are not eating or sleeping well, and they don’t see the end in sight.
One student who is doing all remote learning told me that his teachers are great and working really hard, but he misses the interaction of the classroom that you just can’t get online. He also says it is extremely difficult to pay attention to the teacher online as they are often not on the camera when you are just looking at what they are posting on the whiteboard, for example.
The phenomenon is exacerbated when a child has special needs, and especially is unable to communicate. We here at Orange Effect Foundation are seeing that in the increased number of applications asking for devices so that their child can communicate.
“No two people handle a pandemic the same.” It’s a common statement, but I do think it is very true. Especially with our children. These are unprecedented times. Each of us is going to react differently. We have to be patient with each other, and especially with our kids as we help them navigate this challenging time. Unless you’re a nerd, in which case you are thriving!