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Parents and teachers of children with autism face challenges transitioning back to the classroom

But there have been unexpected benefits of online learning.
Credit: ASU

SAN ANGELO, Texas — As schools across the state slowly open back up, the transition from online learning back to a school setting can be a tricky one, especially for children with autism and their parents and teachers.

“Our teachers have done an amazing job of fostering those changes,” said Brandi Mendoza, Austism Specialist with Region 15.

Because of 2020's crash course in online learning that parents and teachers were forced into, Mendoza said it’s given them both a whole new set of tools. “Our teachers have become masterful at thinking outside of the box. So this online platform has opened up parent training and other ways we can continue to support children with autism at home.”

“They love structure,” Jessica Flores, a non-physician mental health professional with MHMR said. “They love consistency, so being able to take that home with them when they’re not able to go to school is great.”

“Creating that predictability is going to be key for our students with autism. Trying to mirror the exercises and activities they’ve been doing at home and mirroring them to school,” Mendoza said.

Still, the transition was never expected by anyone to be a smooth one. “I would say parents should definitely give themselves grace, because it’s going to be challenging and they’re going to go through some things that they’ve never gone through while they’re working with them and getting them through the next steps in school and the new changes of our world.”