Regression During A Pandemic

Some students with autism spectrum disorder are showing a loss of academic skills since schools closed due to Covid-19 (last March 16th in Illinois).  For example, many students who are less verbal and who were in school settings this fall are following the visual schedules and classroom routines from last winter.

However, they may not be able to add and subtract single digits or read or comprehend words as they demonstrated 8 months ago. The lack of in-person instruction from teachers can be a large contributing factor.

Directors and Co-Directors of U.S. Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Centers are concerned about the impact of Covid-19 on education noting that “special education for youths with intellectual and developmental disabilities often requires nuanced physical contact and redirection, enhanced teacher-to-student ratios, interpersonal prompting, and close attention to the motivational structure of the environment.”

Parents and advocates are concerned about “regression.”

It is important to know that ABA (e.g., provided in-home or in a clinic) funded by insurance companies does not work on teaching academic skills and this results in an area of need for students.

At BPI, we want to make children successful in every environment. As part of this and with the priority of keeping everyone safe, we can provide Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs) to a variety of school districts to work with the district’s students in the home.

In addition, we can provide RBTs to work with students at school.

RBTs are trained in the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis. We teach them how to build relationships with our clients.

In the home setting, they can build the relationship and under the guidance of a teacher or Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), they can teach children academic skills and help students demonstrate skills they have lost and learn new skills.

We/Dr. Winnega can also provide training to paraprofessionals through video conferencing to provide them with strategies to work directly with students in their homes.

Since Covid-19 cases increased with the holiday season, BPI can provide training to parents on how to work with their children at home and engage their child in remote learning.

At BPI safety is our priority as is providing quality education to children with special needs.

 

References

1,2https://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/doi/10.1176/appi.ajp.2020.20060780

3https://www.disabilityscoop.com/2020/09/08/covid-19-disproportionately-impacting-developmental-disabilities/28909/

 

Tip: Catch children being good/acting appropriate – provide 10 positives to 1 redirect/correction

Meet Dr. Winnega!

Dr. Winnega, a renowned clinical psychologist, specializes in autism spectrum disorder, developmental psychology, and behavior analysis. Dr. Winnega’s rich experience includes her work in the field of autism and school consultation for over 25 years.

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