Last Updated on October 16, 2023 by admin
Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have unique educational demands, but with the right support, they may thrive in any situation, including a pandemic.
When considering autism education, it is critical to understand the challenges that children and teenagers with autism spectrum disorder will experience.
Distance education may provide additional obstacles during corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Psychologists are in a unique position to identify these children’s social, intellectual, and cognitive requirements. Psychiatrists, especially pediatricians, can play an important role in the execution and integration of multi-dimensional mental healthcare systems.
Autism is clearly a lifelong illness, and medical progress necessitates therapy and educational support. Changes in visual perception, behavioral inflexibility, and learning restrictions are among the most obvious academic hurdles.
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Children with autism demand a multidisciplinary approach, which includes specific education preparation, a high level of organization (by predictable routines), visual schedules, and a dedicated learning space that is free of distractions. Experts with various specialties must collaborate to provide a caring atmosphere for these children’s mental growth.
With the help of special classroom teachers, psychotherapists, and mental health counselors, children with autism flourish and achieve their academic goals. 2 Their educational needs will necessitate a great deal of parental support and access to care services. For school-aged children with autism, for example, substantial behavioral therapy for at least 25 hours per week is suggested.
The focus is to enhance behavioral – cognitive performance, as well as verbal and non – verbal and psychological conditions. COVID-19 has pushed these barriers to new heights for children and teenagers with autism who want to get a good education. Many schools have switched to online learning modes since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. (E.g., Zoom, Skype, Google Teach from anywhere) to provide children, education from homes. The sudden transformation from in-person to online learning may be difficult. When learning takes place for lengthy periods of time in front of a computer screen, sensory requirements, particularly visual and auditory processing, can be challenging to regulate. 4 Children with autism are also used to learning social skills through a school’s regimented schedule and the assistance of paraprofessionals. Autistic children have a high level of behavioral inflexibility, which includes an aversion to novelty and a strong need to stick to a regimented pattern, so any deviation from their routine can be quite distressing.
These children may also have genuine emotions for specific people or places, and they may be fascinated with strange behaviors which are prohibited under COVID-19 restrictions. Programs in relationship development are important for reducing social impairments and improving adaptability abilities for living in a dynamic society. Regrettably, given the COVID-19 constraints, keeping the same level of order and regularity is difficult, to say the very least, for these children and their guardians. COVID-19’s unusual situation has forced autistic children, their caregivers, and healthcare providers adapt in innovative ways. Families of children with autism are often called upon to fulfill several tasks, including those of teachers, physical, occupational, and speech psychologists. Both parents and their children are stressed, as a result of this.
Distance education, unlike classroom learning, necessitates a large degree of parental work. Parents are in charge of supervising their children’s classes and establishing a schedule for their schooling. Parents may find it difficult to sustain their children’s learning demands, as behavioral disorders may be exacerbated by pandemic-related lifestyle changes. Violent behavior and tantrums, for instance, may become more common. Given these difficulties, parents may reasonably worry that their children could fall behind in their genetic architecture.
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What Can Caregivers Do?
It’s critical for the mental health community, guidance counselors, and guardians to work together and establish solutions to deal with the challenges that come with distance education. Despite the fact that remote learning makes it harder to provide the specialized attention and resources they need, parents and caregivers can still create a set of potential environment for their children. Psychiatrists and other caregivers can recommend the following strategies:
- Create a comfortable atmosphere at home, like establishing a distinct location for social events and a specific table or room for online education. This may aid sensory adaptation and promote a positive learning environment.
- Create daily and monthly visual schedules. This is a fantastic way to help youngsters develop a sense of routine.
- Schedule frequent pauses and use alarms to signal the end of one activity and the beginning the other.
- Fill playgrounds with familiar toys or things to help pupils feel more at ease in their environment.
Establish Contact with specialists, skilled workers, and psychiatrists. It is critical for parents to learn the most effective strategies for meeting the needs of their children.
- Using an internet platform, maintain social connections with peers and experts. This may help avoid such children’s cognitive development from regressing.
COVID-19 resources have been released by many autistic groups and health care organizations to help care providers. There are additional online resources available to help parents through the distance learning experience. Teachers, caretakers, and parents should work together to discover innovative strategies to succeed even in these hard situations and provide the compassionate care that these youngsters deserve, as folks continue to be wary and stay at home due to social distancing initiatives.
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