The Borten Institute
Now that virtual learning has become a common occurrence in many households across america, many parents are still adjusting to having a job and being a homeschool teacher all at the same time. Between Zoom meetings, Schoology assignments, and Canvas lessons; things can become overwhelming pretty fast!
It is important for new and experienced homeschooling parents to remember that self care is vital! When you're well, your children are well!
Here are some self care options, to stay fresh while you homeschool children and manage online lessons.
Wearing a face mask can be difficult for typically developing children, but even more so for children with Autism or other sensory processing issues.
Sensory Processing can be defined as how the nervous system receives input from the senses and turns input into an appropriate motor and behavioral responses. Being over responsive or under responsive to these processes can result in sensory processing disorder.
For example, some over responsive or under responsive behavior to sensory input maybe as follows:
Use of a face mask for extended periods of time, can be challenge for students with sensory processing issues. Here are some strategies to support wearing a face mask by Mount Sinai Seaver Autism Center:
•Parent / sibling/stuffed animal as a model for wearing
•Make it “fun”
•Practice wearing at home
•Increase the amount of time worn each day
•Include child in the process
•Design, color, putting on
•Explore different fabrics
•Choose breathable, non-itchy fabrics
•Ear attachments (minimize pressure around the ear)
•Adult sizes vs Child sizes
The Seaver Autism Center also suggested mask modifications as shown below:
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“Summer Slide” also known as “Summer Learning Loss” is the loss of academic skill, a child loses, over summer break
Summer Slide Facts:
- As much as two months of learning can be lost over the summer.
- Summer learning loss is so common that teachers have to spend the first six weeks of a new school year reteaching old material.
- Summer slide accounts for as much as 85% of the reading achievement gap between low income children and mid to high income children.
Impact of COVID-19 on Summer Slide
Summer Slide is a significant issue this year for many reasons. One being that children have been out of school for several weeks due to COVID-19. These school closures, in addition to time out for summer, compounds the amount of academic skills children can lose. Additionally, children with learning disabilities who have not had access to accommodations and modifications for several weeks, may present with more significant loss in learning, as compared with peers who are non disabled.
Summer Slide Tips:
Please be sure to check out our future blog posts and follow us on social media for upcoming tips on how to overcome summer slide!!
Nikita Borten, M.ED
This picture was striking to me. Mainly because of the enormity of truth that emanates from the oversized letters on the wall.
Fear Is A Liar…let that sink in for a minute.
Are you struggling with any fears, or dare I say struggling with lies, as it pertains to raising a child with a learning disability?
In a recent survey I conducted of parents raising children with learning disabilities, several fears emerged in the analysis of the responses.
The most common fears that emerged can be categorized as follows:
1. My child with a learning disability will not make academic progress.
The truth is, some children with learning disabilities demonstrate academic growth in many ways. What do you consider to be progress? Your answer to this question can alleviate a lot of fear. Grades, progress reports, and state exams are NOT the only measures of academic success. Communicate with your child’s teachers and get a clear picture of what academic success looks like for your child.
2. My child with a learning disability will not be independent as an adult.
The truth is, according to the most recent U.S Census Bureau, 2.7% of adults 18-24 years old have a learning disability. 41% of these adults go on to complete some type of postsecondary education such as: two-year colleges, vocational schools, or 4-year universities. Of this same age group, 92% report that they are gainfully employed earning low to mid yearly incomes. Thus, the likelihood that your child will be self sufficient as an adult, based solely on the numbers, is good! Consider that your determination, together with the school’s commitment, increases the probability exponentially!
3. My child with a learning disability will not have friends.
The truth is, social skills and building peer relationships, can be incredibly challenging for children with learning disabilities. It is important to allow the child to build relationships at a pace appropriate for them. Keep in mind, that a big part of making friends, is a child’s view of self. Social skills training offered thru schools, private agencies, and informally at home can be immensely helpful. The important thing to remember, although it may take time, is your child can have “friends”. Encourage your child to interact with others (as appropriate) and teach them to have a healthy self-perception.
Fear is a liar. So, don’t believe the hype, don’t fall for the okie doke, and don’t take the wooden nickel. Know the truth and the truth will set you free!
Nikita Borten, M.ED
2020, the year of unpredictability. From a scary deadly virus, to abrupt school closures, to violence in the streets.
It is all very overwhelming for us as adults, but even more so for children. No one would have ever predicted that a taped killing of a man by a police officer, would be played over and over for the world to see.
It is unsettling. That is why it is so important to communicate with children about the violence and unrest they are seeing today.
Below are a few tips about how to talk to children about riots.
1) Be Honest
Images of protest and riots are everywhere and easily available for all to see. Be honest with children about images they are seeing in media. Explain the difference between peaceful protesting and rioting.
2) Be Fair
Explain the why’s, fairly. Inform children that some people are upset about how SOME police officers treat people. But also explain that not all police officers are bad. Protesting and riots are not the only way to ask for change. Talk to your children about other ways to ask for change (voting, email elected officials, signed petitions etc.)
3) Be Cautious
Monitor the amount of exposure children have to the unrest shown in TV and social media. Unfiltered language and media messaging could influence children in way that maybe different from your personal values. Additionally, overexposure can lead to fear and high anxiety in children.
Nikita Borten, M.ED