How Online Classes Disadvantage Children With Special Needs
All children are special. However, children with special needs are referred because of their needs. I am a mother of a neurotypical and special needs child, and the past two years have been difficult, to say the least. When we had a little window for the kids to go back to school, pollution kicked in and robbed us of that time as well.
Together, the children have been staying at home for a very long time. It’s not natural either – physically and mentally. This, in turn, affects caregivers of children. I would like to elaborate here on a few points relating specifically to children with special needs.
The human connection: Most children with special needs are very tactile and work well with touch (when socially safe, of course) and expressions. They can judge a lot of things from people’s faces, and it’s really hard on screen.
Social interaction: It is very difficult for children with special needs. The few opportunities they have in the physical school facility are taken away from them when the school is online. I remember my son’s classmate telling me during the first week back to physical school how happy he was when my child approached him for a hug.
Meeting with peers: Children learn a lot from their peers and online school is not enough. General mannerisms, habits and behaviors can be imitated in a good way when a child with special needs is unaware of them.
Routine: Children with special needs crave and thrive on routine. With online school, this is almost impossible. Even a simple disturbance like a power outage can upset their minds and it is just as difficult for the teacher and parent to bring them back to the “class”.
Entertainment: Online school comes with easy distractions. My son is constantly opening new tabs to check out YouTube videos (yeah, smart boy)…but it’s a challenge to constantly monitor his laptop usage.
I also urge our Trustees to do something about the pollution that wreaks havoc in the NCR every year, so that we no longer have to deal with the dreaded “pollution vacation”.
I hope someone is listening to us…
Upasana Mahtani Luthra is the Director of Events and Mom Influencer Program GurgaonMoms. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not represent the position of this publication.
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