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Keeping the Engagement Flowing for Youth with Special Needs during School Closures

It’s old news now that most schools, businesses, and organizations are closed until further notice during the ongoing COVID 19 outbreak. For families, keeping children with special needs engaged and inspired to learn can be a challenge. However, there are a lot of great online options to help bridge the learning gap.

The website Adapted Mind has many math lessons in multiple grades to help visually guide students to the correct answers. The website also has a great selection of reading available.

These days, reading and comprehension aren’t just about identifying written words on the page. With apps like Amazon’s Audible youth (and adults alike) can listen to their favourite stories while school is out. The app also carries audible books in six different languages. Best of all, Amazon is making this service free of charge for the time being.

Time4Learning has a multitude of homeschooling curriculums which have been designed to accommodate for a range of developmental disabilities.

As with any learning level, youth can be engaged online through many educational websites. DDA has taken a look at a few very interesting sites to inspire and enlighten:

Is your child interested in other worlds? Take a trip to Mars! Through the assistance of NASA and its martian rover, Curiosity, home-based explorers can check out the surface of Mars and find out whether life ever existed on the Red Planet.

If your child is musically inclined, the Metropolitan Opera is offering a series by Wagner that includes classics such as Tristan and Isolde that users can stream nightly.

Besides the obvious need to keep our youths’ minds focused on education, simply keeping them busy and entertained can be a challenge. At this point in the COVID crisis, going for a walk outside is still permissible as long as you and your children practice social distancing from others. However, coming up with activities in the home can be a bit more challenging. Parent Circle has some great and simple ideas to keep youth with developmental disabilities entertained and engaged. Of course, social distancing means going to the local pool is out, however.

If you have a few key ingredients in the home there are activities that can be fun for youth with the added benefit of limiting screen time. Seven DIY projects with simple household items.

At the end of the day, a good, old fashioned puzzle that the entire family can get involved with is great for youth with developmental disabilities. Puzzles help with fine motor and problem-solving skills. Just be sure the puzzle is appropriate for your child’s ability.

Have fun and stay safe!