PHOTOS: Special Needs Children

Annette Sankowski hugs her son Tristan while husband John sits with younger brother Jonathan May 15, in the backyard of their San Benito home. Tristan, who has autism spectrum disorder, briefly eloped from home during the early days of the pandemic.(Denise Cathey/The Brownsville Herald)
Mason Perez entertains himself by throwing sand into the air like confetti May 12 after his morning therapy session in the backyard of the family’s Brownsville home. Mason has autism and has spent his time largely at home, with the family even arranging for a dedicated occupational therapist to come to the house due to the COVID-19 pandemic.(Denise Cathey/The Brownsville Herald)
Alex Garcia and his mother Melinda stand in front of their home June 2, in Southmost. Melinda has been staying home with her son, who has Downs syndrome, in order to protect his health during the pandemic. (Denise Cathey/The Brownsville Herald)
Joshua Hernandez adjusts his facemask as he stands with his mother Caroline Skill June 3, outside their home in Los Fresnos, Texas. Hernandez has Down Syndrome, and while living with his mother has only been able to see his father occasionally during the pandemic. “He misses his dad a lot, he hasn’t seen him since Spring Break in mid-March. The only way he can see his dad is if his dad comes over and he talks to him through the door and waves ‘hello’. If we happen to be in town, he can’t really get near him or hug him,” Skills said. (Denise Cathey/ The Brownsville Herald)
Romina receives a hug from her sister Ana Priscilla as they sit in the kitchen with their mother Aida Garcia and younger sister Antonella May 19 in their Brownsville home. Aida has been teaching her two older daughters, who have autism spectrum disorder, how to bake during the COVID-19 pandemic as the family stays home.(Denise Cathey/The Brownsville Herald)
Miriam Delgado stands with her daughter Alexis who has cerebral palsy, May 19, on the family’s front porch in Southmost. (Denise Cathey/The Brownsville Herald)
Timothy Vallejo, swings on a swing May 5, outside of his family’s home in Monte Alto, Texas. Vallejo, who has autism spectrum disorder, doesn’t entirely understand why the family still has to stay at home. “It hurts me to say “No”. I can’t say “no, not yet’ exactly like that. I have to say ‘well it’s going, slowly, but it is going’ and he gets mad. He wants me to say that “yes it’s over and we can go everywhere now but I can’t,” mother Maria Esther Posada said.(Denise Cathey/The Brownsville Herald)
Robert Perez leans over the side of the family’s above-ground pool while his mother Susana helps elder brother Mason May 12 in the backyard of the family’s Brownsville home. Robert, like his brother, has autism and has largely been confined to the house and the backyard since the COVID-19 pandemic began.(Denise Cathey/The Brownsville Herald)
Joaquin plays on his tablet as he and his mother Desiree Ricarte sit outside May 8, at their Brownsville home. “You are confused by it as an adult. It took me personally about a month for this to kind really sink in as far as what is going on and what I can do now as a parent. I can only imagine how difficult this must be for the children to experience it,” Ricarte said. (Denise Cathey/ The Brownsville Herald)