Recommendations to Improve Education for Students with Autism through Distance Learning Strategies and Assistive Technologies during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Author(s): Dr. Dalliah Alkhoui
The COVID-19 pandemic has created new educational challenges and presented new opportunities for educators and students with learning disabilities, especially due to the increased awareness and focus on inclusive education. While extensive research has been done on effective strategies for teaching students with autism in an inclusive classroom environment, there is minimal research conducted on strategies for distance learning education for students with autism. This group is at a higher risk of being excluded from online education compared to their peers who have no learning difficulties. Recommended strategies for enhancing effective online education for students with autism include strategies for developing instructional materials. Another is collaborative engagements with all stakeholders to develop an understanding of each student’s strengths and weaknesses. The other is the provision of teacher training and continuous professional development. Next up is developing strategies for creating effective home-based learning environments such as providing all the required infrastructure for online learning. Finally, are strategies for instructional delivery such as the use of effective assistive technologies such as Zoom, collaboration with caregivers, and ensuring the active engagement of the students during instruction delivery.