Last week we launched our first virtual Parent Huddle! These live virtual meetings bring parents together to bring out in the open the concerns they have for their children’s development and progress, and empower and educate parents through community.
Each week we focus our discussion on one of our five pillars of support: regression, attention, social, emotional, and sensory. Last week we began with regression. So, what is regression when it comes to education?
Academic regression refers to learning loss in children: skills, milestones, or concepts they had previously mastered they now struggle with or cannot do at all. Regression typically occurs after a hiatus in learning, such as at the end of summer break. However, a nationwide academic regression (and beyond) has occurred due to school closures. Virtual learning has proven to be ineffective for most students, with many disengaging, dropping out, or simply not retaining information. Moreover, struggling young readers tend to remain struggling readers without intervention and support. (Read more about statistics about the effects of distance learning on our blog here.)
You may be able to clearly see learning loss in your child when you look at their handwriting, math skills, level of independence in schoolwork, reading fluency and comprehension, vocabulary, and even social skills and self-care skills. Most students are experiencing some amount of decline. Our Director of Programs, Katerina Violante, noted some tell-tale signs of regression in literacy for parents to catch: rereading or skipping words, erring on words they know, guessing based on a few letters, or mixing up words that look similar. (Guessing and mixing up similar-looking words is appropriate up until about second grade. However, if your child is making these mistakes frequently, or more than they used to, they may have regressed.)
What areas have you noticed don’t seem the same in your child since a year ago, or even several months ago? So, what do parents do when all we’re told to do is “wait till things go back to normal”?
Getting a baseline with an evaluation for where your child is currently functioning will give you an in-depth understanding of what their needs are. Your child’s regression may be visible to you as a parent, but are you aware of the underlying functions that are affecting their performance? Triton’s Multisensory Evaluations give parents a snapshot of exactly where their child is functioning according to age, grade, and percentile, when it comes to language processing, orthographic processing and literacy, and even non-academic skills such as social-emotional and sensory processing.
The best part is, Triton puts parents at the center of evaluations and instruction. We involve parents in their child’s instructional goals and coach them in how to apply the same concepts and tasks at home.
In the meantime, even after getting support for your child, what if virtual learning isn’t working in your home? Our Parent Representative, Pam Garrity, suggests these modifications in your child’s day.
- Create a school schedule with your child. Set aside a time during the weekend to plan the week ahead, then post it in your child’s view. This not only holds them accountable, but gives them some agency over their time and themselves.
- Make weekdays to simulate a school environment during school hours. Your child should have a separate learning space away from distractions (that they use only when they are “in school”) and organized.
- Motivate your child in creative ways! For example, create a velcro board and put their favorite toy at the end. They can earn “tokens” on their velcro board while looking forward to the toy when they finish.
- What works at school should work at home. Talk to your child’s teacher about strategies they may have used in the classroom that your child enjoyed. Can you make those conducive at home?
Follow us on Instagram and Facebook to stay in the loop for our Parent Huddles every Thursday at 12:30pm. This week we will be discussing attention. Whether your child has an ADHD diagnosis, or simply struggles to pay attention to a virtual class (can we blame them?), you are invited to the next Huddle! We’ll see you there on Instagram live!