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How Online Education Can Help Special Needs Children

Special needs children often struggle in traditional brick-and-mortar schools. Whether they have autism, dyslexia, or ADHD, children with learning disabilities often need an education that suits their unique needs.special needs kids

A student on the autism spectrum may not be able to keep up with a teacher’s lesson. Children with ADHD may need to take frequent breaks to reduce anxiety and increase attention span.  A child with multiple sclerosis may need to adjust their day based upon their physical limitations.

All children have a unique learning style, and children with autism are no different.

Special needs children can benefit greatly from online education and homeschooling. Ryan Fox has autism and shared his success story with Getting Smart, saying that his traditional school was very frustrating. He couldn’t take notes and pay attention at the same time, causing his mother to re-teach him lessons at night. He enjoyed the flexibility and distraction-free environment of online classes:

The classes are all recorded so I can replay them slowly over and over again until I get everything. I also can work in a course as long as I want to because there is no bell to make me stop and move to the next class. Nobody is throwing spit wads, goofing around distracting me, or being disrespectful toward the teacher.

All children have a unique learning style, and children with autism are no different. The use of visual aids, hands-on projects, or videos allows them to choose the style of learning that works best for them. Online teachers can customize their lessons to make sure every child learns with the tools that are best for them.

Raymond shared his story with K12, saying that his online school helped him actually enjoy school and conquer his OCD:

Ever since joining K12 I have straightened out a lot. I no longer dread school (days off are still awesome). I also got over my OCD, learned to like music, and no longer have to worry about homework, bullies, etc. School was once a nightmare, but now I have peace of mind.

On top of learning difficulties, social situations can be stressful and discouraging for special needs children. Some may not pick up on social cues. Others may be bullied. Online education allows children to interact with peers on their own terms with activities, clubs, and play time.

Learning at home allows disabled children to have the accommodations and support they need.

For children with physical disabilities, every day can be a struggle. As Christopher Klicka of Home School Legal Defense Association describes, living with multiple sclerosis makes even the smallest tasks difficult:

Every day it is hard for me to simply walk, put my socks on, or stay in 80-degree weather for any length of time. The emotional drain is intense. The need to think and plan for logistics to achieve normal movement is a heavy burden.

Learning at home allows disabled children to have the accommodations and support they need.

So whether online classes or homeschooling fits your family best, online education could be a great alternative to traditional schools for your special needs child.

Do you have a story about how K12 and online education has helped your special needs student? Share your story to help other families decide if online education can work for them.

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Lauren Martin

Lauren Martin

Lauren Martin is a Writer for Learning Liftoff. Previously, she has written for nonprofits as well as marketing agencies. She's covered environmental issues, women's rights, world poverty, and animal rights. With a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism from Ithaca College, Lauren enjoys interviewing families about their experiences with online education.

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