Coronavirus Pandemic Impacts Autistic Individuals and Lower-Socioeconomic Statuses
Children with autism or other disabilities struggle with learning during the coronavirus pandemic because the pandemic closed schools and isolated those who work better in an environment with teachers and children. School closures, lockdowns, and distance learning has left children with disabilities to learn independently at a slower pace with limited support from their classrooms. Teachers have programs and activities to help these children physically and verbally. Oftentimes, it is easier for children to learn and engage in their environment if they are introduced to social circumstances, like being in a classroom with peers.
For families with lower-socioeconomic status, the pandemic was gruesome because proper technology is needed for online learning. Some families do not have enough technological devices for their children to use for school, and most autistic children might need someone to stay with them and guide them throughout the day while learning online; which most families cannot accommodate. Most families also might not have the proper resources, especially time, to aid in their child’s activities and work. Teachers can only focus on a group of children instead of giving one-to-one attention, which was possible if they were in a classroom. Teachers are also unable to give children the engaging academic aid due to distance learning.
All in all, the pandemic affected learning for children with autism because it limits their ability to learn, socialize, engage, and have personal support or attention. Children suffer the most in families with little to no access to proper technology and resources because of the inability to get the most out of their education. Autistic children who struggle to learn in a normal environment will find learning online gruesome because they will not be able to receive the attention and proper environment from their school and family, accentuating how the pandemic impacted their education and relationships.
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