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Boy participating in virtual learning.

Virtual Learning for Children with Autism

By Dr. Daniel Robinson, Coastal Pediatrics

Virtual learning has been a challenge for families everywhere, but it can be even more overwhelming for those with a child on the autism spectrum. With COVID-19 on the rise again, and no end to virtual learning in sight, follow these tips to give your child with ASD the confidence they need to succeed.

Set a Routine

  • Start and stop school work at the same times each day.
  • Learn subjects in the same order and at the same times.
  • Take breaks at the same time.
  • Establish an area to work in each day.
  • Create a visual schedule so your child will always know what is coming next.

Create a Distraction-Free Learning Area

  • Choose a small room with desk space for them to work and enough room for someone to supervise.
  • Keep the room clear of toys and don’t allow music or other entertainment.
  • Provide headphones so they can focus on virtual learning.
  • Have the proper equipment available and organized so your child doesn’t need to stop working to find something.

Consider Sensory Needs

Review your child’s IEP (individualized education plan) to see what sensory breaks work best for them. Some examples include:
  • 10-minute quiet time breaks every hour.
  • A bouncy chair at their desk to help with the need for movement.
  • Toys for fidgeting.
  • Active time such as a walk around the neighborhood.

Taking the time to understand your child’s needs can make or break their virtual learning experience. By using these tips, and your valuable experience as a parent of a child with ASD, your child can thrive in a virtual learning environment.

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About CHKD Medical Group

About CHKD Medical  Group Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters has been the region’s most trusted name in pediatric care for more than 50 years. As members of CHKD Health System, our pediatricians work closely with CHKD’s full range of pediatric specialists and surgeons. They also share a commitment to quality, excellence and child-centered care. With 18 practices in 29 locations throughout the region, a CHKD pediatrician is never far.