Parents of students with disabilities say a COVID-19 testing rule for the return to school is a "catch-22".
As part of their return-to-school plan, the Victorian government has recommended students and staff at specialist schools test five days each week due to the higher risk of severe illness for medically vulnerable children.
While it's not mandatory, the rule adds to overall anxiety about the prospect of going back.
Jason Voll, vice president of the school council at Wodonga's Belvoir Special School, has not had to test his son Jasper for COVID but is nervous about the idea of a nasal swab.
"There's definitely anxiety about it," he said.
"Belvoir have to do five a week compared to two a week at other schools, but it's not mandatory.
"The RATs will be sent home and the parents will do the tests, as much as they can.
"To me, five days seems a bit excessive, although special schools are a bit different because they've got kids with immune problems and things like that.
"It's a real catch-22."
Mr Voll helps run the Autism Albury-Wodonga Facebook group, where parents have shared their questions and concerns.
For Melanie Martinelli's son, who attends Wodonga Senior Secondary, testing is a way to relieve his anxieties about the pandemic.
Ms Martinelli said for other young people on the autism spectrum, the tests would be confronting.
"You're going to have families where kids have such high sensory needs that it's just not possible and then you're going to have kids, like in our family, that are immunocompromised," she said.
"We're doing everything we can but we can't expect everybody else do that.
"I think it will be different this year - a lot of the kids will be immunised.
"I don't think you'll see as many schools close."
Some parents are considering home schooling due to the increased risk of COVID-19.
Ms Martinelli questioned how much COVID would be spreading undetected in schools.
"With the nasal swabs, you can go too far or not go far enough," she said.
"They (RATs) are going to placate us a bit and make us feel safer, but will it actually make us safer?
"My niece was COVID-positive and they did three RATs that were all negative. It was only when they got the PCR test that it showed up."
Mr Voll is also concerned about the spread of COVID-19 in schools.
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"If you have a positive RAT inside the classroom, then the teacher's a contact, and around here getting substitute teachers - especially for special schools - is impossible," he said.
"There's only eight to a class at Belvoir, but if you have a class of 30 in another school, that's a lot of contacts.
"To me it just seems inevitable that they're going to end up doing remote learning."
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