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Remote Learning is More Difficult for Special Education

Posted by Brian Spence on Jul 13, 2020 11:15:35 AM

Special Education, Behavioral HealthWhile remote learning has gradually become more popular in recent years, that all changed in early 2020. Now, there is an explosion of interest in this type of learning ever since the pandemic took hold of the nation. Although this type of educational tool may be ideal in some circumstances, it holds some unique challenges for children who require special education. Parents with a special needs child must be extra diligent to discern whether remote learning is able to fulfill the educational requirements for their child, or if they will have to find alternative methods to fill in the gaps.

Every Child is Unique

Some parents report that being outside the classroom is actually beneficial for their child. The stricter schedules associated with classroom learning can be stressful for some children. For these particular children, being at home means less pressure and a greater ability to learn in a more relaxed environment.

In most cases however, parents with special needs children report that being away from the classroom is making learning more difficult for their child. In other cases, it's not always possible for a parent to be able to accurately assess whether their child is benefiting from remote learning as much as they would from traditional classroom learning. While no one knows a child better than his/her parents, even the parents of special needs children do not have all the professional training that is required to accurately assess whether a child is meeting educational milestones.

Reaching out to Schools

If a parent feels their special needs child is not receiving sufficient learning opportunities through remote learning, or if they are unsure they are meeting educational milestones, they have every right to ask for more help. An Individual Education Plan (IEP) for their child is a right -- protected by both federal and state laws. An IEP is essentially a contract between the family of a child with a disability and their local school district. The contract requires that the school district provide the resources necessary for a special needs child to make consistent progress in their education.

If a parent has not already done so, they should reach out to their local school district to discuss how to create a comprehensive learning program for their child. While it will take more effort on the part of the parents and the local school district to jointly prepare such a plan, with some creativity and innovation from both parties, it is possible to partner together and arrive at the best possible learning solution for each child.

To learn more about this and related topics, visit the Behavioral Health and Education sections of our blog.


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