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Remote Learning and Special Education Students: How Eight Families Are Adapting (Video)

When it comes to parenting students with learning differences, every family's experience is unique. And that reality has never been more true than it is now as millions of students are out of school due to the coronavirus pandemic.  As they juggle remote learning on top of already full plates, parents of these students offer a window into their world— what their challenges are, how they're adapting, what their schedules look like, and the trauma they're seeing in their kids. 

'Stillness and managing chaos' 

Families open up on their challenges, the lessons they've learned through this journey, and the schedules they've implemented to try to address their students' needs. 

'It's not a disability, it's a different ability.' 

As they look to the prospect of schools reopening, the families hope is for thoughtful consideration of all students as schools prepare their new budgets, and greater empathy for kids who are struggling through a challenging time where the structure they thrive on has been stripped away.


'A lot of kids are going to have trauma from this.'

The coronavirus pandemic and distance learning environment have brought new challenges for students of all abilities. Parents share the sadness they've seen in their children—from missing things as basic as the school mashed potatoes to needing the structure of school to thrive. There's a hope that things will go back to normal, but a lot of uncertainty around how long it'll take to get there. 

Coverage of students with diverse learning needs is supported in part by a grant from Oak Foundation, at www.oakfnd.org.  Education Week retains sole editorial control over the content of this coverage.

Related Reading

Virtual IEP Meetings: A 6-Step Guide for Parents and Teachers

Autism Amid Uncertainty: Expert Advice for Parents and Teachers

A Resource Hub on Remote Learning for Special Education Students

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