Sherri Shepherd is opening up about watching her 15-year-old son, Jeffery, as he deals with a difficult remote learning experience.
Shepherd, an actress and comedian, says that having her son in isolation has been “extremely difficult,” according to Yahoo! Life. Her son was born with “developmental delays” and adjusting to schooling from home with a child with special needs has been a challenge for the mother and son.
“It has been absolutely detrimental to Jeffrey's mental health,” Shepherd says. “I've been very concerned because his socialization has just been taken from him … to watch my child kind of wither because … he has no friends coming over. He really hasn't been able to socialize with friends … you know, normal teenage things, he’s not able to do.”
The mother of two says that being quarantined as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has had a negative impact on Jeffery and has caused him to become depressed.
“He came to me with that ball that has dog treats in it and the dog has to try and get the treat. And he said, ‘Mommy, I feel like that. I feel trapped. And I feel like I can’t get out.’ And that’s depression these kids are dealing with,” she continued.
Shepherd shared with the news outlet that being stuck inside the house with her son has been taxing on her mentally as well.
“I forget to put on clothes,” Shepherd adds. “And then I got to hear him go, ‘Ma you don't have any clothes on.’ Okay. Well, this is my house and I pay bills. So I'm tired of the teachers calling me. I'm tired of the emails.”
Despite the uphill battles, Shepherd offered some advice for any parents that might be in the same situation that she is currently facing with teaching special needs children at home.
“My advice to parents that have children with special needs is to lean into them, really listen to them because they'll talk to you,” Shepherd says. “They're going through difficult periods.”
And for how she plans to interact with her son:
“I know that he's stressed and sometimes they just need a hug and you to do something fun with them. So try doing some activities with them, roller skating, playing tennis, dancing, even though I have to make my son do it at the end of the day, he likes it.”