Distance learning in TX is increasing the same as it has been all over the world. Recent events have seen an increase in the number of families who must use a virtual learning program for at least a short time. This is difficult for many children and parents. For those with children and teens on the autism spectrum, things become even more complicated. Children with autism have often found traditional learning troublesome at best.
For parents who have no experience with the virtual learning program, this new normal is even more confusing. These parents must learn to adapt to sharing the teacher role while also helping their child deal with the drastic change. A drastic change can create chaos for the child with autism. There are ways to help prepare your home to make this learning easier for everyone involved. You will need time for adaptation, but this does not mean the virtual learning program won’t be successful. Parents may even find their child blossoming from the added security of staying in the familiar environment of home while still learning. At Camp Worth, we help you take a look at how to set your home up for tremendous success.
Explain What is Occurring
Many children with autism have difficulty communicating. For the majority, however, there is a way to get your point across. Sit down with your child, explain what the virtual learning program is and why it is necessary this schoolyear. Give your child time to digest the information and answer questions as fully as possible. It may take constant reassurance that this new format is acceptable. Don’t give up too soon.
Create Different Areas
Set up an area specifically for an online education program. Label this area for learning. You can also have other areas set up for play, reading, or art. By providing areas where your child understands the expectations, you will start to create certain behaviors that they find familiar.
Make Routine the Rule
Rules and routines are a must for students with autism. Create a schedule that is an even mixture of fun and schoolwork. Alternate easy and challenging lessons and make sure you include time for play. If necessary, use pictures to help your child see what they will be doing next. Don’t change the routine if possible.
Use Visual Aides
Students with autism often respond better to visual aids. Create a schedule that allows your student to check off activities as they complete them. Make visible labels for supplies and different learning areas. Create visual ways your child can express needs if they feel overwhelmed.
Create Behavioral Rewards
Go over your student’s IEP and make a note of the behavioral issues that your child has worked on in the classroom. Incorporate a reward system to help reinforce these positive activities. Ensure you convey your expectations, provide gentle reminders for redirection when necessary, and create incentives to give the child something to work towards daily.
Incorporate Play and Chores
Don’t forget that motor skills and life skills also need time. Incorporating both play and chores into the established schedule will ensure these essential aspects don’t get overlooked.
Seek Help at Camp Worth
Camp Worth can help parents find the ideal learning environment for their adolescents with autism. If you find a virtual learning program is too challenging to manage alone, at least for now, reach out and contact us at 855.915.2545. Our autism education program is maintained by specialists explicitly trained in teaching children with autism. We offer a range of treatment options, including:
- Counseling and behavioral analysis program
- Medication management
- Autism parent training program
- Autism therapy programs
In addition to working with you on an effective virtual learning program, we may find that having your child attend our residential program is better for everyone involved. In either case, we are here to help you navigate these new waters we have all found ourselves in with coronavirus. Contact us at 855.915.2545. We will get through this together.