mother looking over child shoulder and helping with schoolwork

Homeschooling Children with Intellectual Disabilities

Even though the order to stay home has been lifted and businesses have been cautiously reopening stepwise since the middle of May, COVID-19 continues to be a very real presence in our lives. You have undoubtedly weighed the pros and cons about your child returning to or beginning programming this summer. The only right choice is what is best for your family.  

If you decided to keep your child at home this summer for schooling, however, we want to make sure that you make the most of the situation.   
Schooling at home can be a wonderful solution to reduce your family’s risk of exposure to COVID-19. Many children thrive in this kind of independent and individualized setting but it can be challenging for parents and students alike. To make sure that you get off on the right foot, we offer the below suggestions for schooling at home.   

  • Have an organized and consistent schedule. Start off with breakfast and then move into lessons. You can base the schedule off of your child’s school schedule if that is the best for him or you can make a new routine that works best for your family. If it helps your child, she can pretend to get on the bus or get in the car to go to school.  
  • Have a dedicated workspace. Whether it is a separate room or a corner, try to make it feel like a space for learning. You can ask your child her favorite part of her school classroom and incorporate that into the workspace.  
  • Have a few ground rules. You and your child can come up with your own guidelines about taking breaks, listening, etc. or you can use his familiar classroom rules.  
  • Make time for socialization. Connect with friends and family via phone or video conference or schedule a social distance playdate to avoid isolation.  
  • Schedule breaks and physical exercise. Combine these two activities by taking a walk around your neighborhood. You can reference our guide to making walks more exciting here.  
  • Lastly, whatever the factor that you are trying to address with schooling at home, be it the space, schedule, learning guidelines, etc., you will get a better result if you include your child in the planning and execution.  

If you are looking for educational resources and lesson plans to supplement classroom work, you will find a plethora online. In addition, Autism Speaks compiled a list of learning activities (as well as curated lists for many other activities that are worth a look) that you will find here.  
https://www.autismspeaks.org/virtual-summer-activities#Learning 

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