As we all close the books literally and figuratively on the school year, we can all breathe a sigh of relief as so many of us were not ready to have the responsibility of so much of our child’s learning land in our laps. We were not prepared to have all that added to our realm of responsibility.

For those with neurotypical children, the challenge of remote learning was real and required a great deal of work, but when you have a child with special needs the work is simply that much greater. Maybe or maybe not in workload, but for sure in the fact that maybe one child will thrive on a zoom call while for another that screen can create anxiety which will shut down any learning right away. One child will be able to work well with mom as the teacher, while another will always do better with someone other than their parents ( Elizabeth!).

Maybe your child’s teacher was readily available for help and maybe not.

Maybe your child’s therapist tried to do a session via zoom and it worked but what about when it didn’t…what then?

We were all challenged to help our special needs children succeed during this time so much so that I know I have forgotten some of the tricks we did to help Elizabeth navigate something or some of the feelings she had about these video calls, such as why she gets anxious or had trouble transitioning. I know I thought I would remember it all for sure but well…..there was a lot going on….so that is my excuse.

As I write this, there is a lot going on in the world. Corona cases are on the rise yet the swim club in our neighborhood was packed today. The experts predict one thing about the virus one day and the next day, something else.

So with all this going on I something came to mind to me and that is the importance of taking a few moments to write down just what your experience was with your child and remote learning. There may be a chance that remote learning is part of your child’s school year next year and you want to be able to convey as accurate picture of your child’s strengths and struggles. Because by doing that, you will help the school help your child. So maybe take a few moments and think back to day one and…

Write down:

-What worked well.

-What they liked to do.

-What caused stress.

-What emotions you saw.

-What they really struggled to do.

-Any behaviors that were present.

-Any changes in other parts of their days ( sleeping , eating etc)

Anything else that you think the school might need to know.

If you think about it, you, me, WE as parents and caregivers of these individuals with special needs are really the ONLY source of information, true first hand information about our children’s lives and feelings during this quarantine. So having good notes will help everyone moving forward.

Because we don’t know how the fall will look, being prepared and good advocate for your child can only be a good thing.

I wish everyone a peaceful week.

I wear a mask for my mom and others who could get very ill.

Michele Gianetti author of

I Believe In You: A Mother and Daughter’s Special Journey

Emily’s Sister

Elizabeth Believes In Herself: The Special Journey Continues