In a matter of speaking … yes! Wow!!! Blended learning students in grades 9-12 return to buildings beginning 03/22 (at least in NYC). Speech-language pathologists help others with organizational skills so in that spirit here are some reminders
Get back into that routine now! Resume the routine bedtime, preparing lunch the night before, laying out clothing etc. Whatever the routine – especially with students who are special needs, that will be important. Since we are talking about older students returning, maybe a chart as below with their routine would be helpful to write out now..
Once your son or daughter is back – in-person..
Please communicate face to face if possible – not through facetime; but in-person and it will be important to show up with your son or daughter’s paperwork in hand. I’d suggest that you hand it to the special education supervisor as soon as your high school student enters the door. They may be pulling away during their adolescent years; which we’d typically expect. However, they won’t tell you – you are needed! Just like at the beginning in September – here is a checklist:
Set up a meeting or call your child’s lead teacher and introduce yourself. If possible go to school in person as it is the parent who makes themselves known that gets the help!
Make sure that your child’s therapy schedule is in place as times may change ..??? perhaps…
If your son or daughter needs any adaptive equipment – communication boards or FM systems and these are typically at school – make sure they are there and also any eyeglasses!
***If your son or daughter can help with the very last item above it may be wonderful so that you guide them in self advocacy skills!
Remember that it is not just your child who needs the help. Your child's teacher needs the support from the school therapist so that they know how to support him or her and they need you too as the "team leader". Your son or daughter needs guidance too!
Resources: The impact that changes in kids since the pandemic necessitated social distancing cannot be understated.
A year or so back, I was sitting, catching up on reading mail one afternoon and i come across my graduate school alumni magazine. The topic that month was related to the use of technology in education. One of the articles talked about different types of careers that are developing in the field of education, that relate to technology. Really interesting. It got me thinking about my day-to-day work and the types of things that have happened over the past few years. How are we changing??
I avoid using technology at work, aside from some apps on my i-phone. Call me old fashioned; but, there really is a logical reason when you are interacting with young children. Why? there now is scientific evidence that the use of technology really impacts us. For example, this article from Scientific America might be eye opening for some https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/reading-paper-screens/
One might poo-poo the article that I site in the previous paragraph since the article was written in 2013. Before YOU choose to do so, copyrighted in 2018 MaryAnneWolf writes the text Reader, Come Home: The Reading Brain in a Digital World. (yes – you CAN get it online at Amazon 🙂 )
Wolf continues the dialogue about the influence of technologic reading vs. tangible “book” reading. There are real differences that she suggests: the ability to critically think, reflect and being empathic. She even documents the neurology of reading and how our brains assists is with it (which I can’t give away – you will have to read her book!) and the fact that we don’t use the same aspects of neuroanatomy when reading online. The adage of “use it or lose it” may now be popping into your head. Scary isnt it. My conclusion was that reading a book may actually be a form of exercise for your brain. I myself wonder, is this going to be another addition to the recommended amount of aerobic exercise that we need to maintain health? Interesting rhetorical question or perhaps a “real one” to discuss at your next physical.
For children younger than 18 months, avoid use of screen media other than video-chatting. Parents of children 18 to 24 months of age who want to introduce digital media should choose high-quality programming, and watch it with their children to help them understand what they’re seeing.
For children ages 2 to 5 years, limit screen use to 1 hour per day of high-quality programs. Parents should co-view media with children to help them understand what they are seeing and apply it to the world around them.
For children ages 6 and older, place consistent limits on the time spent using media, and the types of media, and make sure media does not take the place of adequate sleep, physical activity and other behaviors essential to health.
Designate media-free times together, such as dinner or driving, as well as media-free locations at home, such as bedrooms.
Have ongoing communication about online citizenship and safety, including treating others with respect online and offline.
Another question that I had in reviewing this information in preparing for a graduate student seminar being given to students studying the field of Speech-Language Pathology was what about adults? Who helps guide us in curbing use of technology so that it is used responsibly. After all, I would challenge my reader to make a list of 25 activities that you engage in during the week that do not involve battery operated devices. Can you? When I asked my students to do so, it was hard. Even the mundane task of grocery shopping in a “real” grocery store where you actually take a shopping cart, walk up and down an aisle and take items off of a shelf was not happening. By a show of hands, few students engaged in that task. No wonder we are becoming an overweight society!
With the above depressing news that has been documented – how technology is affecting our health, I dug up an article that may be of help. I will close with this and a request to consider how technology is affecting your life and how it is affecting the life of those around you. Consider how you can take care of yourself! https://www.rewire.org/living/adults-screen-time-limits/