Mid-South business navigates COVID-19 changes while helping students with learning disabilities

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The coronavirus pandemic has changed the learning experience of students across the country and here in the Mid-South.

Many students are either learning virtually or they have a virtual learning option, which includes students with learning disabilities.

Some businesses that help these students have had to change how they operate because of the pandemic.

Daphne McDonald owns Speaking Life Healthcare in Memphis.

McDonald told FOX13 how much her business has had to change due to COVID-19.

“For us, our company, Speaking Life Healthcare, we’re providing all our services virtually,” McDonald said.

Speech pathologists are responsible for helping students who have a speaking impairment, that can range from a student who is non-verbal, has issues stuttering, pronouncing sounds, and more.

Having to go virtual, McDonald said that some therapists have run into several issues.

“Being unable to connect and maintain a connection," McDonald said. “Sometimes, parents may not be able to connect period.”

The difficulties don’t stop there.

“A lot of our parents still have to go to work," McDonald said. “So, balancing their own work and making sure those students still receive those services has become an issue.”

McDonald also said therapists have some challenges with having to take care of their own children while helping students at the same time.

While students are learning virtually, their speech therapists are in the same zoom classrooms helping those students.

McDonald said despite the challenges, students have been responding very well to having their speech therapists available virtually.

“It has been amazing that some of these students have risen to the occasion and are showing these strengths and skills," she said.