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online learning

Make Online Learning Easier for Your Child with Special Needs

During this unprecedented time of Covid-19, you are probably struggling with online learning for your child. And if your child has autism, Down syndrome or another disability, you are also receiving services from the school district for special education. The school system is tough to navigate on a regular basis, and this year, it’s even tougher. The following will give you tips to make online learning easier for your child with special needs.

Create a schedule 

Having a clear visual schedule can help your child feel more comfortable because he knows what to expect during remote learning. It will motivate him to stick with tasks he might not like. A simple First/Then format, where you pair a picture of something your child needs to do with a picture of the reward he will get afterward. For example, First might be a school worksheet while Then is a favorite craft project.

Set expectations 

You know the extent of your child’s attention span. But some remote learning online lessons are set up to last 45 minutes, and that may be too long for many kids with special needs to focus on a screen. Take time to check in with your child’s teacher to see how long your child usually had to focus at school and negotiate a better timeline.

Take breaks 

Once your child completes a portion of work, encourage her to take a break with some physical activity, whether that’s going for a walk, playing in the yard, or dancing to a favorite song. An active break will make her a little less agitated and restless when she is sitting trying to engage with remote learning.

Find alternate ways

If your child tends to struggle with certain tasks that needs to be accomplished on a regular basis, try working with her teacher to come up with alternate ways of completing the work. For example, some kids do better writing by hand than typing, so sending scanned copies of assignments to teachers is a simple way to make remote learning more manageable. Even small adjustments can make it much easier for your child to adjust to the new expectations of remote learning.

Navigating your child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) while he or she struggles with online learning can add multiple layers of stress. Many students are not receiving services and support that were outlined in their IEPs related to specially designed instruction, speech and language, social work, occupational therapy, and physical therapy. 

But it doesn’t have to be this way. If you feel overwhelmed and you need help, please contact us.

American Disability Association is dedicated to the wellbeing and protection of children with disabilities and actively provides support to enhance their quality of life. Whether you are dealing with federal or state benefits or struggling with a school district to get proper education for your child, we have the resources to help you. Many individuals and families managing a disability are not aware of the wide array of services available to them, or they do not know how to apply for these benefits in a way that is likely to succeed.

Contact us for help. Dial (888) 323-2133 or email us at [email protected]