The COVID-19 pandemic has placed education in a precarious position for teachers and students alike across the globe. As the world is slowly starting to return to a sense of normalcy, and the United Kingdom schools gear up to a sea change in the way schooling is structured, the particular reactions and repercussions for children with special needs must be centre of mind and play a part in the strategies being devised.
Simply put, a student with special needs refers to those children with a learning problem or disability that makes it more difficult for them to interact, learn, and play with other children. Parents, teachers and schools need to work in conjunction with one another for the benefit of these special needs children. Reading reviews of online learning platforms that focus on special needs education settings and systems, parents and schools will both learn how to progress into the future for the improvement of their children.
Teaching special needs children online poses significant challenges for the student and teacher. Now two students are the same and these online teaching structures need to be aligned with that philosophy too. Unlike other schooling for other students where there is no learning problem or disability, online education has been well received by most. For children with special needs in learning, more emphasis must be placed on reaching those students in the ways that make for effective education.
Online learning has to be fundamentally different for special needs children from other forms. A home-based learning environment must be created to ensure that students have the necessary space, tools, and access for effective communications and education. A teacher’s role will also need to be adapted: goals, content, and school work needs to be amended to suit the new environment and structure. A tailored programme for each need needs to be devised.
It is a huge undertaking to address even such minor challenges are sensory activities, learning environments, and interaction. The teachers and parents and caregivers need to work in collaboration to find solutions to these problems, to accommodate the child’s special needs in the best ways.
Home learning activities need to form part of daily routines. The classroom was once an area easy to access and understand for students, where learning could be facilitated. Now with remote and online learning, a teacher will need to be extra vigilant to student’s emotional needs and communication to best create a familiar and effective homes-based learning environment.
Teachers have found that a white board or schedule board is a tactile and sensory cue for students to use in their online learning. It is a way to stretch their learning from online to offline, and to bring a sense of the classroom to their home-based learning area. Apart from using the latest technology in computing and video-calling, a board, bright colours, and noises are still some of the most fundamental aspects to communication and learning for children with special needs.