The advent of the novel coronavirus on the planet has brought a lot of changes for all of us, especially children. One such drastic change that happened in the lives of children is the concept of virtual learning. Well, before the pandemic, it was merely a concept. As the cases started to increase, the schools worldwide shut down, with an estimated 1.2 billion children sitting at home. This has led the schools to take up the possibility of virtual learning to ensure the continuity of education among children. Currently, students around the globe have adapted differently to virtual learning- while some find it extremely comfortable without any distractions, others find it remarkably difficult to concentrate. However, virtual learning is particularly challenging for kids with the autistic spectrum- a group of tiny tots who find consistency and routine very important in their life.
From difficulty in understanding to anxiety and lack of social connections, here are some of the online learning challenges faced by students on the autistic spectrum.
Lack of special care and attention
While a lot of kids on the autistic spectrum benefits from virtual learning, some of them need special attention and care. Virtual learning can’t provide individual care and attention that they used to get in the specialized environment at schools. Most of the kids face difficulty concentrating and doing things independently when the teacher is not around. Through virtual classes, the teachers can’t give the attention they used to give during school hours.
Regression in the progress
Many parents complained that online classes hindered the progress of their children. The main worry arises when it comes to social connection. Some of the kids have adapted to the zoom sessions, while some of them shut down from the outer world completely. This has affected their academic performance also.
Challenging for parents
Teachers looking after autistic students are actually trained to do their job. However, for virtual learning, the parents should take the role of teaching their kids. This might overwhelm a parent with a lack of experience looking after an autistic kid. Apart from that, they will also have other responsibilities at home and the workplace.
Ease in accessibility and understanding
While most of the virtual learning platforms are designed for easy navigation, it might not be easily accessible and understandable for all, especially kids with autism who needs special attention.
Now that we know the challenges let us check the tips to help your child with online learning.
- Explain the current situation stating that this is necessary and is not forever.
- Allocate a special room and space for the kids to learn. But never expect them to adapt and adjust to the new space quickly.
- Use fidget toys and headphones to avoid distractions.
- Use parental controls on your computer to avoid disturbances during online classes.
Virtual learning has many pros and cons, but the trend is here to stay, at least for some time. Patience and perseverance can help your child with the autistic spectrum attend online classes smoothly.