7 Ways to Support your child with special needs with online learning
Considering the current pandemic, it seems that online learning is here to stay, at least for a while longer. For children with special needs, adjusting to online learning may initially be difficult but with certain adjustments, learning remotely can become easier and more efficient.
Here are some tips to help parents, teachers, and children better adapt to this new method of learning.
- Set up a “classroom” at home
Create a special space in a room that will be used for online learning. Have your child help decorate or set up the space to make it more personalized. The space should have an area for structured work but also for breaks to color in, read or move around.
- Establish a routine
Children with special needs respond well to routine and structure. Use a visual picture schedule so your child knows what to expect during the day. Include the typical daily routines such as getting dressed, washing up and brushing teeth.
- Modify study goals
With the transition to online learning, you may need to develop a modified version of your child’s educational or intervention plan. That’s because some study goals addressed in person may not be easily addressed online.
- Everyday life activities and life skills
Take advantage of the home environment to focus on learning through daily life activities. Have your students learn new vocabulary through cooking or learn sequencing through morning routine activities, planting in the garden, etc.
- Incorporate your child’s interests
Try to find activities that are related to your child’s interests. For example, if your child is passionate about animals, try to incorporate tasks or activities involving animals. When children are learning about something they are interested in, their motivation to learn increases and they are more engaged.
- Sensory activities
Incorporate sensory activities and movement breaks between lessons and activities. To make it practical, you can incorporate sensory activities during daily activities around the house that may involve lifting, pushing, pulling, and movement. Use a fidget toy if it helps your child focus more during the lesson.
- Be flexible
Just like learning anything new, it may take time to adjust to online learning. While it is important to stick to your schedule and focus on achieving the goals of your child’s intervention plan, oftentimes the best learning is unplanned.