Virginia mother whose son has Asperger's syndrome decries 'Zoom' schooling as 'detrimental' to kids

Virginia parent details struggles of online ‘Zoom learning’

Denise Warburton tells ‘The Story’ her autistic son Max is suffering through loneliness due to school closures

A Northern Virginia mother told “The Story” Tuesday that the closure of local public schools due to the coronavirus pandemic has made a stark difference in the day-to-day lives of her children. 

“I have one in the public school and one in the private school,” Denise Warburton explained to host Martha MacCallum. “I’ve seen that the private schools have gone back successfully in a hybrid model. They brought them back. None of these kids are falling ill. There’s a complete change in their demeanor in the days my daughter does go to school versus virtual at home.”

Meanwhile, Warburton’s son Max, who is on the autism spectrum, must attend classes via Zoom due to the closure of Alexandria City schools. Warburton explained that Max formerly attended private school, but she was told by staff there they feared they could not sufficiently accommodate Max’s needs.

Max told MacCallum he misses being in social situations with his friends and is getting tired of being home alone all day with his dogs. 

“I see my son isolated at home with no social interactions all day,” Warburton said. “He’s on the spectrum and for a kid with Asperger’s to be home alone with not a single social interaction all day is detrimental … Virtual Zoom social skills groups or occupational therapy groups, they’re completely ineffective and not serving these children whatsoever.”

Warburton added that she was brought to tears when she found out that Max yearned so much for social interaction that he visited the campus of his former school. 

“I just thought that was really poignant and just shows how desperate they are to be around other people.”

Max attends T.C. Williams High School, the school known best known for its depiction in the hit 2000 film “Remember the Titans.”

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