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CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8 | cbs8.com

Distance learning presents new set of health issues for students with special needs

One woman who grew up with special needs is offering students with developmental disabilities some products that may be able to help with their distance learning.

According to the latest data from the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, about one in six children have at least one developmental disability.

Distance learning is almost impossible for these families.

With the pandemic throwing off the new school year and most special needs services canceled during this time, parents are scrambling to find resources and tools that can assist their special needs children with online learning.  

"It is such a challenging time, but I will say parents with children with developmental disabilities are so adaptive," said Alexandra Herold, founder of Patti and Ricky.

Herold was diagnosed with ADHD, anxiety and dyslexia at a young age.

"I read with my ears. It was challenging - having to go into special classes. I found with accommodations, I could find success," said Herold.

She has worked hard to develop products in the "Patti and Ricky" line that can help children with disabilities learn.

"The actual environment that a child learns in is so important," said Herold.

These are some products that can support productive, special learning environments.

"I have my weighted blanket here and it makes me feel calm and secure and I think it can be a fabulous tool for kids," said Herold. "For me, moving helps me learn, helps me concentrate. So, having a basket filled with different fidgets that a child can use while they are in that Zoom class."

"If you have a child that is non-verbal, we have some compression vests. When a child has that hug feel, they feel calm," added Herold. "We actually have patches where they can pick their emotion that they are feeling. With COVID we just want to be a support system to our community and this is our way to do that," said Herold.

She also offers a free 'Ask Alex' service where parents can ask her and her team for advice or help finding services and non-profits. 

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