Helping Parents of Students with Disabilities Facilitate Online Learning

As a parent, are you asking yourself…. “How can I be a parent and a teacher?” That is a common question these days and one that can be especially difficult if your child has a disability. Focus, behavior, and learning differences can all play a factor in how to successfully facilitate learning from home. Structure and expectations at home are different from school. How do I, as a parent, transition my child to on-line learning with minimal stress and frustration? Below are some tips to help you as your role changes from parent to teacher and the environment changes from school to home. 


Children behave differently at school and at home. Make an area or room designated for school work. It will set the mood. When they are in that area/room, school behaviors are expected.


Make a visual schedule of the daily tasks. Show and discuss the schedule with your child at the beginning of every day. Have a box next to each task so they can put a checkmark or sticker next to it after they complete it.


If completing the entire task gets too frustrating, put a timer out and reach goals by having your child focus on a task for a set amount of time instead.


After a set amount of time or tasks, give your child a reward. It can be a snack, a sticker, time on a video game/tv, etc. Have your child choose their reward.


We all need to move, especially the young ones. Don’t forget to get up and move around. Do jumping jacks, get outside, throw or kick a ball around. Exerting some energy will help everyone stay focused when you do sit down and work.


Children have a very different idea of school behaviors and home behaviors. It is hard for them to move their “school mind” to “home mind.” Have patience with them. It may take some time for them to re-adjust their views and structure themselves into a school mindset at home.


Pick your battles. You may have to give up on a few things. Prioritize what your ultimate goal is for your child each day and reach that one goal. Don’t worry if you didn’t do every task or complete every assignment. Achieve what is achievable and let other things go.


Give reassurance, praise and support for anything and everything your child accomplishes, no matter how big or small. There is quite a bit of anxiety and worry running around. You want to give them the confidence and security they need to get through.

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Posted by

Emily Webre, Speech-Language Pathologist at TeleTeachers

Emily Webre is a certified speech-language pathologist with over five years of teletherapy experience. She is currently providing therapy and evaluation remotely to students in Minnesota and Missouri, all from her home in beautiful Evergreen, Colorado. Emily is an advocate for online learning and loves working with students in the school setting to help them be successful in all areas of their lives.