BAKERSFIELD, Cali — Social distancing and distanced learning can difficult for any child, especially those who have autism or special needs education.
The Ascension Center provides counseling services to individuals and families who are impacted by disorders, such as autism.
“We would provide the therapy one-on-one in the therapy area that was provided to us and we would on those social significant skills that the child needed,” Ana Laura Benitez, Behavior Analyst for the Ascension Center, said.
The Center says that they are still able to provide in-person visits following CDC guidelines, which includes, sanitizing the home before the visit as well as wearing a mask at all times which can make it difficult for children with autism to learn.
“Children with autism do struggle with empathy skills and are taught to read other peoples facial expressions as well as tone of voice, and wearing a mask makes that a little bit challenging,” Benitez said.
Though, the center has found ways to try and overcome this challenge by utilizing pictures or videos.
Public schools that have special education programs are still working on a plan on how to teach during distanced learning.
“Part of that planning process will be to review the special needs population and make any accommodations and modifications to specifically meet those students’ needs. That will vary by school district and ultimately on the individual needs of individual students,” Rob Meszaros, Kern County Superintendent of Schools spokesman, said.
Meszaro emphasizes that schools are trying to stay positive and do what they can to provide a safe learning environment for students.
“Distanced learning is what we had before us, we have to make the best of that situation with a goal of course being to get to in-person instruction just as soon as it is safe to do so,” Meszaros said.