Parenting is hard. Parenting a child with special needs is hard. And parenting through a pandemic is hard. Over the last several months, we’ve all made big and small decisions that have re-shaped our everyday lives, and as schools begin to reopen (in various forms), choosing the best option for your child with autism is yet another challenge.
In some counties, parents are choosing whether to send children back to school in person or keep them home. In other counties, schools will remain closed, so parents are choosing between digital learning and home schooling. Here’s a little more info for anyone still trying to make the choice that works best for their family.
What is Digital Learning?
Digital learning is also called virtual or distance learning. While there are several different virtual learning options available to parents and students, we’re going to focus here on what it means for Georgia public school students right now.
With several counties choosing to keep school buildings closed (and others giving parents a choice between in-person and digital), virtual learning is a schooling method that uses technology to deliver lessons and facilitate teacher interaction. Digital learning is going to look slightly different in each county, but it will include some combination of individual (or, depending on the age, parent-guided) work and video lessons.
Students participating in virtual learning will still be following their county’s public school curriculum and will interact with teachers through technology. Virtual learning will require students to have regular access to a computer and the internet, including at specific times for some video lessons. Depending on the school system’s virtual learning schedule, this might mean that ABA sessions would need to continue to be in the afternoons. If the virtual learning schedule is more flexible, then ABA sessions could occur in the morning before learning begins or could overlap some.
What is Homeschooling?
Homeschooling is an education option that allows a parent to guide a child’s learning. There are hybrid options where students attend class a couple days a week or even just for specific subjects. Homeschooling is built around a family’s own schedule or in some cases even worked into daily activities that blend school and home.
Homeschooling allows parents to choose their own curriculum and teach their child in the way they learn best. That may mean more time spent in some areas and less in others. Homeschooling parents often facilitate lessons that capitalize on their child’s interests while being flexible and accommodating of their child’s temperament. Our sessions would help fill gaps in learning and would be sufficient to meet homeschooling needs.
To homeschool in Georgia, you must submit a declaration of intent as well as an educator’s license. To learn more about registering and rules for homeschooling in Georgia, check out the DOE website.
Where does ABA therapy fit in?
Good news! Whether you choose digital learning or homeschooling, ABA therapy can play a valuable role. In the past, we’ve provided ABA services in school settings, and whether you’re participating in digital learning or homeschooling, we can provide ABA therapy in your home. Depending on your education program of choice, ABA therapy may even be able to play a central role in your child’s program.
ABA therapy can help with communication skills, increasing on-task behavior, decreasing problem behavior associated with non-preferred tasks, and improve fine motor skills with the computer or other digital devices. This would also mean more parent training and daily living skills with the child being home more. ABA therapists are not educators but can play a vital role in the learning environment of the child.
At Innovative Behavior Options, we want to provide parents with the tools they need to navigate the challenges they face. Whether you’re looking for strategies for handling adjustments to your child’s routine, tips to help your kid with Autism learn to wear a face mask, or even advice for you as a parent during this time, we want to help. Check our website to learn more about ABA therapy or give us a call at 770-250-0093.