School has started, parents have become the educators and our children are struggling to learn. Did you ever see that one coming? I sure did not. I get at least three calls, texts or emails a week from parents needing direction on what to do for their children. I am told their children cannot learn virtually, and are having difficulty with the process. I have a nine year old child I am advocating for with autism who is having challenges understanding math, has speech and language deficits, and is dyslexic. The parents have tried to work with him and have completely altered their schedule to accommodate his schooling. They are extremely frustrated with the entire process and concerned about their son’s loss of education.
I receive calls from parents telling me they want to sign an affidavit to take their children out of the public schools, and personally home school them. Parents who have children with IEPs should be aware of the consequences that may be attached to that. They are doing this because many of the accredited home schools are overbooked and are no not taking any applications. There is much to think about prior to doing the above.
I recently received a call from a parent that has three children with autism and is completely overwhelmed with trying to teach them and earn a living. Did I mention this is a single parent? For these parents it is more than just sitting next to their child as they do their distant learning. It is dealing with their children’s anxiety, depression, inability to focus for long periods of times, not understanding the work that is being taught, and reaching frustration levels that cause behavioral issues. I can tell you many more stories, but that is not the purpose of this article. I am the Founder of a nonprofit The Jonathan Foundation for Children With Learning Disabilities. My Board Members and I have decided to hold a FREE webinar to help these families out.
This webinar is not limited to special education children as I believe there will be some general education children that will also have difficulty accessing grade level curriculum during distant learning. Many of these children, special or general education, may need assessments to find out if there is a loss of education. Many districts are not assessing these children due to social distancing. Although I have worked with many psychologists that are willing to meet with children to assess with CDC Protocols in place.
It is my understanding that some districts are only providing two hours of instruction a day, parents have the obligation to review schoolwork and do homework with their children. If parents who may have only one child that are challenged with distant learning and have major stresses factors in their life, imagine parents that may have three children, and two with special needs what their distant learning at home looks like. Parents are forced to change their schedule to meet their children’s school distant learning schedule, placing extreme stress on the parents and their marriages.
If it is difficult for a general education child to “distant learn”, how difficult would it be for a special needs child to distant learn? Are their Individual Education Plan (IEP) being met? Are these children meeting their goals? If they are not meeting their goals, what is the IEP team going to do about it? Is the IEP team collaborative and willing to provide the necessary services? If a child needs an assessment (special or general education) does that child wait until school districts reinstate assessments to address Child Find and provide a Free and Appropriate Public Education? Both Child Find and Free and Appropriate Public Education are part of IDEA 2000 ACT, special education law.
These are just some of the challenges parents are dealing with. If you want to know the answers to the above questions as well as have your own concerns addressed, then you should register at The Jonathan Foundation for Children With Learning Disabilities (and beyond) webinar. The Jonathan Foundation is having its own Board Members, Dr. Karen Wilson, Neuropsychologist and Richard Isaacs, Special Education Attorney including myself host a webinar to answer all of your questions. The is a FREE webinar to support parents whose children are struggling during distant learning.
Please register at the link below to attend this webinar:
IDEA 2004 ACT, Special Education Law, is national meaning any questions regarding your child’s IEP can be answered by our Special Education Attorney, Richard Isaacs. Any questions regarding your child’s challenges in the area of social, emotional, behavioral and academic can be answered by our very own Dr. Karen Wilson and/or provide guidance on what may be happening with your child.
The Jonathan Foundation Board is looking forward to supporting our special needs families.