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Sherri Shepherd has been in quarantine at home with her 14-year-old son Jeffrey Charles during the coronavirus outbreak. The single mother reached her breaking point when she learned his school will not reopen until May.

Sherri, 52, took to Instagram to vent her frustration over being at home all day with her developmentally delayed son.

"I'm sorry, I just, I just found out that the Los Angeles Unified School District is pushing school back to May 1st," she said tearfully.

"Jeffrey is going to be here for the rest of March, and he's going to be doing online schooling for all of April. He's going to be doing online schooling for all of May. We're gonna be together 24/7 until the 1st of May."

She turned to Jeffrey and said, "Jeffrey, you're gonna be here until the 1st of May with me...

When Jeffrey assured her that she'll be fine, she said, "Okay, I'll be fine? Are you sure?"

She added: "I gotta cook breakfast, lunch and dinner for you for the next two months."

Through her tears Sherri offered a public service announcement for her followers: "Wash your hands."

Sherri isn't the only working mom who is losing her religion after being stuck at home with her kid during the coronavirus lockdown.

Hospitals in California and New York are reporting a spike in child abuse cases that they believe is linked to stress from parents being forced to stay cooped up with their children.
 


 

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Photos: Atlanta PD

A mom who abandoned her 14-year-old special needs son at an Atlanta hospital may not face prison time.

Atlanta police charged Diana Elliot, 37, with child cruelty after she abandoned her special needs son outside Grady Memorial Hospital on the cold night of Dec. 4.

Security cameras captured Elliott escorting the smiling teenager into the lobby of the hospital and then leaving the scene in a red minivan.

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Photos: Atlanta PD

The teenager, who is unable to communicate verbally, wandered outside looking for his mother after she left.

A kindhearted nurse on her lunch break noticed the boy standing outside the hospital. She escorted him back inside the hospital where he was cared for until police arrived.

"It was fortunate there was a nurse at Grady hospital, who was on her break, who went outside and happened to notice this young man outside," said police Lt. Jeff Baxter. "He needed help and shouldn't have been left like that," Baxter told Channel 2 News.

The teenager is now in the custody of the Georgia Division of Family and Child Services, according to Channel 2 News.

Elliott was tracked down by police and arrested on Wednesday. She was booked into the Fulton County Jail on felony child cruelty charges.

She told police she was overwhelmed caring for her son and her three other children.

Parents with special needs kids attended Elliott's bond hearing on Thursday. Her attorney - a parent to three special needs children himself - represented her pro bono (for free). The attorney believes the boy may have Down syndrome.

The judge said she would rather see Elliott get the childcare help she needs rather than send her to prison.

Georgia's "Safe Haven" law allows overwhelmed mothers to leave newborns at hospitals, fire stations, police stations and sheriff's offices without facing prosecution.

The law does not permit abandoning toddlers, adolescents or teenagers anywhere in Georgia.

Parents of unwanted adolescents or teenagers are urged to call DFACS, or give up their parental rights instead of abandoning their older children.

"It's rare that you see somebody older than a newborn being abandoned - it's very rare," Atlanta police spokesman Carlos Campos told WSB-TV.

"Our message is that we definitely understand that parents can feel overwhelmed by special needs children - that's something that everyone can empathize with," Campos said. "But leaving them unattended is not the proper solution. The child was found outside, cold and hungry, and that's just not an appropriate way to deal with something like this."

Autism

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates 1 in 68 children in the U.S. is autistic. 1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls.

In 2007, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended that doctors begin screening babies for autism as early as 18 months. But doctors agree that there are very few behaviors or telltale autistic or Asperger's signs that babies exhibit at 18 months.

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Boris Kodjoe Nicole Ari-Parker Malinda Williams

Malinda Williams, co-host of "exhale" sat down with two of this week's special guests, Hollywood couple Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker, to talk about protecting the future of the black community - our children. They share their personal perspectives, as well as important information about the myths and realities of raising a healthy child - including facts about nutrition, sex education, bullying and caring for a child with special needs.

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