Homeschooling with Special Needs

This has been one of the biggest concerns I’ve seen the past few days. Homeschooling is not for everyone, thats for sure. Right now we don’t have a choice. Now obviously special needs is a broad term as there are many diagnoses, but its hard on all of us (no matter what the diagnosis is). If you know your child’s diagnosis now is the time to adapt as best as possible and learn what works and what doesn’t for your child. Each child works differently but I will attempt to help based on my knowledge and research. If you didn’t know M was diagnosed with Autism, Sensory Processing Disorder , Anxiety and ADHD when we was 3. I think I’m fairly qualified on the subject.

Being reassuring, many special needs kids are successful once you figure out what works for you. That also goes for neurotypical kids. I’m betting your kids are feeling the anxiety too. So here are some suggestions I use with M.

1. Create a sensory area/ or calming area

Many special needs schools have a sensory room but I also know most classrooms also have a small area for the kids to use as a coping mechanism. It also can double as a reading area. You have a bunch of things you can use to make it comfortable enough, especially during the pandemic.

2. Setting a schedule

It doesn’t need to be with exact hours but a schedule, especially a visual will help. Since we are home, be simple. And no need to bog your child down with the work. Let them work at their pace. This time is overwhelming but try to be patient with them.

3. Therapy time

I’ve been hearing a lot of inconsistencies when it comes to getting access to OT, ST and PT. If you can get teleconferencing with your therapists, thats wonderful and do so. If you can’t, well first see if you can reach your providers and set something up or at least get information on how to help your children. There are resources online, I’ve found a few through Pinterest but I will see if i can find more.

4. Switch Curriculums if need be

Easier said then done, I get it but some of your children aren’t used to the distant learning and it can have a bigger impact on them. It’s okay to switch it up to help your child learn better. Find out what type of learner your child is and use it to your advantage.