Tips for Home-Schooling and Constant Lockdowns
Even those of us who are mentally strong, financially secure, and live in a happy and safe environment are feeling challenged by the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic and the effect of constant lockdowns. Particularly if you’re living in Victoria where, at the time of writing this, we are experiencing our sixth lockdown and the fourth this year.
Just imagine if you’re someone with autism, and what it’s like for them. They like to have routine, and structure in their day. Getting up and going to school or work is part of this routine. And yet, as a result of the lockdowns, schools have to keep closing and reverting back to online learning. It’s so hard for even the most resilient of us, but when you throw ASD or any disability or mental health diagnosis into the mix it is a thousand times worse.
Whilst you can’t do anything about the lockdowns, you can support your child or loved one through this difficult time with encouragement and support. Here are some suggestions.
1. Create a routine at home for online learning
Make the day as similar to the school day as possible. Get up at the same time, have breakfast and make a packed lunch, even put the school uniform on if that helps. Set up a desk or the dining or kitchen table ready for online learning. Have books, pens and pencils and any other learning materials at the ready.
2. Have regular snacks and breaks
Like we do during the normal school or work day we should continue to have regular breaks where we can enjoy a stretch, a drink and a bite to eat and a bit of fresh air. Regular breaks can help to put us in the right mental space for the next task.
3. Create a quiet learning environment
Being online in the Google classroom, on Zoom or Microsoft Teams, for any length of time can be pretty full on. It can be noisy and difficult to focus on what’s happening when there are so many people in the virtual room. It’s good to create a quiet environment away from the noise of the online classroom or workspace where you can concentrate and get through your work.
4. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself
If you’re a parent of a child with ASD, parenting is hard enough, without having to also be the teacher at home. If it’s not working for you, and is causing too much stress, that’s ok. Give yourself a break. Talk to your child’s teacher and explain the situation. Hopefully they will understand and will provide you and your child with support. You can only try, and if online schooling doesn’t work, that’s fine, you tried, don’t beat yourself up. You’re doing a great job.
If you have other suggestions for parents who are home-schooling their ASD child, or tips for people on the spectrum to help with home-schooling or working from home please feel free to share them with SASI.
SASI Guest Parent Blogger
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