It is inevitable that our children with special needs will be one of the casualty in this pandemic. Every time new COVID policies or SOP are announced from MCO – CMCO – MCO (by district) – MCO 2.0, our parents struggled to adapt with the changes. Most parents would adopt a wait-and-see approach, fearing for the safety of their children. We needed an alternative approach to support our children with special needs during pandemic.
However, we cannot neglect the need of our children. We advocated the need for our children to be continuously engaged. For parents who have opted to defer their session, homework or weekly activities are recommended for parents to do at home with their child. For parents who are open to online learning, we have adapted our delivery to coach parents to work directly with their child.
Take baby steps
We scheduled catch up sessions to understand their challenges. We run test sessions. We observe how our children behave and react to instructions online. We observe how our children communicate with their parents. We start with baby steps.
It is not an easy path. Home was not the natural setting for our children to learn. Learning are done at school with teachers or therapists. To change our children’s perception takes time. But, we have to persist. For if we don’t, our children will be the casualty.
Commitment and support
In fact, we received great support from our parents. We took this opportunity to support our parents in setting up learning environment at home. We had the opportunity to go into our children’s home and work along with parents on their “daily” challenges. Our parents took up the challenge to learn new skills from our teachers and therapists. They have more engagement and got to know the teachers and therapists better. They saw the changes that teachers and therapists introduced into sessions when they gave feedback.
Working as a team
Crisis is an opportunity to learn. The more we work as a team, the faster we adapt and our children will be able to reap the benefit.
This article is written in response to this article, Special needs children regressing as families struggle amid pandemic from Bernama, publish on 23 February 2021.