Particular schooling college students adapt regardless of additional COVID-19 difficulties – HS Insider
COVID-19 has dramatically disrupted the lives of students across the country. However, one group is particularly hard hit by the impact of the pandemic on school education: students in special education programs.
Leandra Elion, lecturer at the Tufts Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Research and Human Development, told Tufts now in September 2020: “In general, one of the strategies that works best in special education is a structured routine – and that’s gone. It is now the parents who have to establish this routine, and there is no recipe for what it looks like in a COVID-19 world. “
The special education program helps students with special needs – such as students with visual or hearing impairment, autism, dyslexia, or other conditions that make traditional learning difficult – with tailored resources and support so they can learn, grow, and contribute to their communities like any other student .
According to Fountain Valley High School special education teacher Angela Ferguson McConnell, pre-COVID special education classes contained a “smaller group of students than a general education classroom” and “class numbers ranged from 8 students to 20 students in a class.”
Ferguson said this student-teacher relationship “gives students more opportunities to work one-on-one with the teacher on specific academic goals.”
Another important aspect of special education prior to the COVID-19 pandemic was the ability for students with special needs to participate in exercise programs with other students, explained Christopher Yang, Ocean View High School’s special education teacher.
“Unified Sports has been robust,” said Young. “General and special education teachers competed in the same team against other teams in the district. The whole school would pack the gym to watch and cheer on the teams. “
However, since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, these personal activities have changed.
“Like general education students, students with special needs are taught through online platforms like Google Meets / Canvas / Zoom,” said Young. “As we observe with general education students, students with special needs learn much better in a classroom.
Ferguson said that “independent learning, navigating different technologies, time management and organization” are all “hurdles” [that] hinder all students; However, students who have already struggled with these skills find distance learning to be particularly challenging. “
In August, the California Department of Health announced Orientation aid the ability to provide one-on-one professional support to students who needed additional support to get adequate education during COVID-19, teachers were allowed to meet with students in cohorts of no more than 14 students provided they followed COVID-19 safety guidelines.
While the return to normal for special needs students is still a long way off, Young said that many of his students have adapted to the circumstances that are particularly challenging for them is impressive.
“I take great pride in these students’ ability to even swim against the current,” said Young. “The greatest success story of our students is their adaptability, even when they have to climb a big mountain.”
Editor’s Note: This story was originally published on Baron News in February 2021.