Pandemic Times

How do you manage your child during these uncertain summer days? Ever since schools closed down, and parents turned into teachers, barbers, school friends, storytellers, arts and crafts makers, and being full-time employees or worse, losing their jobs and turning into stay-home parents, the day-to-day life became chaotic. My mornings got filled with quick breakfasts and Google classroom assignments of my kids, followed by my work, then lunch prep, school work again, and then squeezing in some scooter riding time in the isolated outdoors.

Now that the summer is here and school is over, the situation got better but not as much as I wanted it to be. With zoos and museums closed, playgrounds that got recently re-opened are overfilled with agitated kids and tired adults in masks. It’s challenging to let my child play without keeping his hands off his face, but it has been challenging to keep him at home. He has so much energy that it is hard for him to remain seated in general. He bounces off the walls, jumps on the couch, and rolls in his bed. He is searching through the entire house for his tablet or is glued to the TV. Thankfully, the inflatable swimming pool and frequent evening picnics save our summertime.

One thing that I decided to take away from the remote learning this Spring is that teaching our children is hard, especially when it comes to educating special needs children. Despite the challenges I came across while doing an assignment sheet after sheet with my son, I was able to understand his strengths and weaknesses better. In the beginning, I thought that the program is just too complicated for him, so instead of dealing with it, I modified it. I realized that now I have the ultimate opportunity to create a customized curriculum for my son and administer it when it is convenient for both of us. Since my son’s primary weakness is speech, I decided that we will be working on his reading and requesting skills entire Spring and Summer. Every morning we would start with a B level book, followed by power point slides with pictures and words to expand and strengthen his vocabulary, followed by going over typical request sentences such as “I want water, please” or ” I want a hug, please” followed by a cut and glue activity sheet and finally by going over his identification information such as his name, school number, birthday, city he lives in etc.

Working daily with my son turned me into his teacher and ABA therapist. I realized that with the guidance of his school teachers, he and I could achieve great results. It is true that even during uncertain times, the opportunity arises, you just have to be able to recognize it.

Thank you for reading.

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