Triton Providers are experts… but they’ve never been through a pandemic. As a parent, you may be struggling through this time, especially if your child has special needs. We are witnessing communities coming together, such as ARTC San Diego, to provide solutions. Parents, schools and healthcare providers are creating new opportunities together, to navigate through challenges.
Here’s what our providers want to share with parents!
From our Education Team:
Distance learning may create new challenges to learning for your child. Maintaining a quiet workspace, lack of consistent social interaction, and perhaps a cessation of special needs support, can cause extra stress within families. With the start of a new school year continuing distance learning, as well as summer break, regression in children’s skills and knowledge is not uncommon.
Triton Support Services is offering an engaging, multidisciplinary environment where your child can come to continue the rigorous education and support they need to thrive. Our Learning Matters Coaching Pods are small groups (up to five students) that meet three days a week for a half-day to get support with distance learning. Pods not only provide the crucial peer interaction they need, but also guided social skills groups run by our on site OT and SLP providers.
If you are desiring a learning environment for your child that provides relief from the at-home setting, our Coaching Pods are here for you and your child. We are in this together.
From our Occupational Therapy Team:
The shift in traditional schooling due to the COVID-19 pandemic is a very overwhelming transition for most students. It is especially difficult for special education students that rely so heavily on a structured environment. Major disruptions in everyday schedules are considered a “traumatic” event for special education students, which has ultimately resulted in regression in all aspects of childhood development. More specifically, a large decline has been observed in social communication and self- regulation skills. Students need an outlet to stop the gears of regression and establish a new environment that promotes these specific skill sets. The Learning Matters Coaching Pods at Triton
Support Services serves as that new environment to promote social and academic success.
From an Occupational Therapy perspective, the Person, Environment, and Occupation (PEO) Model recognizes the need to promote successful transitions in times of uncertainty. Distance learning greatly affects the environment aspect since students now have to adjust to learning within their home. The Learning Matters Coaching Pods provides students a safe and structured environment that promotes optimal learning through continuous professional support and environmental modifications. Visual schedules are created for each individual student so the student is aware of daily expectations. In addition, movement breaks and a variety of seating options (i.e. yoga ball seat, wiggle seat, mat) are incorporated into those schedules to increase attention to tasks. The implementation of these seemingly simple ideas make the world of difference in regards to academic participation.
The Learning Matters Coaching Pods helps rewind the regression clock by focusing on self-regulation skills which are highly influenced by transitions and the environment. Sensory diets are incorporated into each student’s daily schedule with options to use a variety of our materials or equipment. Students are also encouraged to self-reflect on their thoughts, feelings, and emotions through our special “Zones of Regulation” wall in the Occupational Therapy room. The emphasis on identifying individual self needs directly impacts student performance by managing stress, processing sensory input, and promoting positive interpersonal communication. At Triton Support Services, we understand balancing all of these crucial skills are difficult to manage through distance learning and hope to provide relief through our services.
From our Speech & Language Team:
The events that occurred following the World Health Organization’s declaration of a pandemic immediately put a halt on everyone’s lives. Traveling was banned, stay at home orders were put in place, and locations of public gatherings were shut down. Unfortunately with this sudden turn of events, schools were greatly impacted, completely altering each students’ learning process, and leaving parents questioning how their children were going to continue their education.
Many parents suddenly had to help facilitate their child’s learning remotely (either online or via homeschooling). For many parents, this can be an overwhelming and daunting experience, especially if they continue to work. One solution that seems to work well for both parents and students is learning pods. From the perspective of a speech-language pathologist, these learning pods enable students to access their academic environment, while social distancing, with the added bonus of not feeling alone and isolated. At Triton Support Services, learning pods allow for a small group (3-4) of similar aged students to access their education separately in a collaborative manner, with the facilitation of an educational specialist.
When taking part in learning pods, students also have the opportunity to participate in small social skills groups facilitated by speech-language pathologists and occupational therapists. The social skills groups focus on the fundamentals of social interaction while also playing games and having fun. Students participating in these groups gain lifelong skills allowing them to interact confidently and positively with others by gaining skills in anger management, initiating/maintaining conversations, understanding emotions, reading body language, etc. While participating in these social skills groups, speech language pathologists and occupational therapists are able to work with the students in small groups and/or one-on-one in order to help identify any speech, language, and/or motor deficits that may require further evaluation.