How Parents Can Support Autistic Children With Online School
Covid-19 has come to completely transform our lives. With most activities suspended and taken on remotely, most parents suffer the consequences. Poor concentration, difficulty focusing on the screen, and even home distractions can be overwhelming for autistic children.
Today, we will share with you a few tips on how to deal with the most common online school problems.
Supporting ASD Children With Remote Learning
Cope With Your Own Stress
Before jumping on tips to support your children, we want you to know that it is equally important to deal with your emotions first. We understand that not all parents can sit with their children to do homeschool due to working schedules. If this is your case, we want to remind you that you are doing your very best and that you need to give yourself grace first.
Zoom Concentration Issues
For both neurotypical and autistic children, concentration on Zoom is becoming a great challenge. Avoiding eye contact can be also a challenge with screen learning, the reason why children tend to disengage. The following tips will help your child focus better:
- Praise him when he is paying attention. Positive reinforcement is powerful.
- If you are not able to monitor him during zoom lessons, ask your teacher to send you feedback if his progressions.
- Pay attention to how long is your child able to focus during zoom sessions. Then ask his teacher to make adjustments to give him breaks.
- If your child is not able to focus for the expected length of “synchronous” time (time online with the teacher live), advocate for “asynchronous” learning time (on their own, off Zoom).
- Allow him to move during lessons, movement reduces anxiety.
- Have fun activities during breaks. Gonoodle.com has fun dance breaks and movement games that are only a few minutes long and can be done on a break.
Disengagement on Assignments
Engagement on assignments can be directed to interest and relationship. If your child has a good relationship or connection with the teacher, attention and engagement will come easier.
The following tips will increase your child`s engagement:
- Collaborate with the teacher to make sure that the difficulty level of the class is well established.
- Strive for quality over quantity when it comes to academics. One well-oriented assignment is better than 3 with different approaches.
- Advocate for one-on-one sessions with his professor to increase connection.
Meltdowns or Behavioral Changes
Autistic children thrive on known scenarios and structures. Since 2020 has been filled with lots of changes and adaptation, anxiety can be expected.
Sadness, irritability, and even meltdowns are manifestations of anxiety and big emotions behind. If your child is struggling these tips are for you:
- Meltdowns are normally the tip of the iceberg. Try to find out the reason behind it.
- Connection during hard times is key. Remember that your arms are your child’s safe place in moments of difficulty.
- “Connection is protection”, empathy is key. Getting close to your child and mention that you understand that it is hard for him is necessary. During stressful moments, your child won’t resonate with you, so empathy is the first step.
- If your child`s school has a psychologist, ask for support to boost coping skills.
Remember, you are not alone in this and there are plenty of places where you can seek support.
At WSCC, we offer support for autistic families and their children with Stem Cell Therapy treatments that can transform autistic conditions by healing the gut, decreasing inflammation, and improving brain function. We also created an autistic community on Facebook that is destined to offer support and companionship for ASD parents and their families on their journey.
Remember, you are not alone!