Parents with special needs students talk about FCPS’s targeted services plan

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) — When Fayette County Public Schools rolls out its targeted services plan next week kids with specific needs will be able to re-enter classrooms.

But not everyone who thinks they should will actually go back.

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“They discussed targeted services and I was like, ‘yeah that’s great!’,” exclaims Camille Craig Klein. She’s mom to four school-aged kids.

Craig was disappointed when she found out her two autistic kids, one in pre-K and one a freshman, wouldn’t be returning to the classroom.

“They both have individualized education plans,” says Craig. “The older one suffers with a lot of mental health issues and there’s no substitute for in person therapy and in person learning.”

Fayette County’s plan only includes K-5th grade even though preschool is in elementary.

“They could have kids in their classrooms right now easily because it’s small classrooms for special needs students,” says Craig.

She’s really worried about her freshman.

“He’s so overwhelmed now and he’s gotten so far behind he doesn’t want to try anymore,” says Craig. “And he’ll have a complete meltdown, shutdown, ya know, and punch a hole in the wall.”

She also has a 5th grader and 10th grader doing virtual learning.

“I feel like we’re putting out fires all day,” says Craig. “We’re running from one fire. We’re going to go help this kid with this need, and now I have to go teach preschool and then I have to go take care of a ninth grader and check and make sure my tenth grader is alive eating and breathing.”

For Haven Kitchens, one child is going back next week.

“I think Tyson qualifies due to working with a special education resource teacher where he has a delay in reading and math and gets extra help in those areas,” says Kitchens.

She’s grateful he gets to go back but it’ll only be for two hours a day and after his 8:30am to 2pm online school day is over.

“It’ll be a longer day than his usual,” says Kitchens.

But Kitchens says she’ll take what she can get.

Tyson has a congenital heart defect, too, making him more susceptible to get sick.

“I’m not even worried about COVID and his heart defect,” says Kitchens. “I’m more worried about his mental health and his socialization.”

There’s also a 7th grader and senior at the home virtual learning.

“Everyone being home together all the time is stressful,” says Kitchens.

Stressful may be an understatement for these families.

FCPS says targeted services begins Monday, October 19th.

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Christy Bollinger joined the ABC 36 news team as a reporter in March 2018. Christy comes from a little western Kentucky town called Cadiz. She graduated from Western Kentucky University in May 2017 with degrees in Broadcast Journalism and Criminology. Christy is thrilled to be working at her dream job in her home state. She is passionate about storytelling and you can see her weekdays on ABC 36 News at 5 and 6 p.m. She's covered everything from visits from the sitting president and vice president, to high-profile murder cases. When not chasing stories, Christy loves nothing more than being at the beach and says life is just better with sand between your toes and waves crashing at your feet. She is also a big animal lover. She's a fur momma and her mini-Australian Shepherd, Milly, standard Australian Shepherd, Bennie, and her Maine Coon, Cheeto, are the loves of her life. Christy encourages you to send her any story ideas you may have. Find her on Facebook at Christy Bollinger ABC 36, tweet her @ChristyB_news, or email her at CBollinger@wtvq.com.