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Navigating the Uncharted Waters of Remote Learning

April 23, 2021


An autism mom shares how she managed shifts in routine and transitioned to remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Navigating the Uncharted Waters of Remote Learning

As we navigate these uncertain times with remote learning, it is my hope that I can impart some positivity for all by sharing my experience helping a child on the spectrum adjust to a drastic shift in routine. I’d also like to share what I’ve found to be helpful while I navigate the overwhelming nature of the pandemic.

I am a firm believer in manifesting what outcome we want in life. I lead life with an attitude of gratitude. My son, Liam, is enrolled at Spectrum Center and I am beyond grateful for the wonderful support the center has provided us during this time. I am grateful that I can have transparent conversations about what I should prioritize, such as mental health, and what I can shift away from, such as a heavy workload, while Liam is struggling to regulate.

Creating a schedule

 It has helped me to ask Liam’s occupational therapist for added hands-on activities to Implement at home. I like to look at anything in life as a  lesson. Ironically, remote learning and this pandemic has taught me the power of positivity. We can’t control external circumstances in the present time. We can’t erase the inevitable triggers our children are facing. However, we CAN find the strength within to greet each day with an intention to set and manifest it.

What the above means to me is creating a schedule for Liam, plus tweaking his schedule and being flexible if it doesn’t work one day.

Routine is uncertain in these times, so I create one. I write down the days we will attend the park, the library, and make a sensory craft, and I also accept when it may not go as planned and Liam is struggling with sensory overload. Every day won’t be rainbows and butterflies, but we can find the small moments in every day that bring us joy.


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Navigating remote learning

Remote learning has taught me to persevere through the lingering blues. To somehow find positivity, even on the days I may need to search harder. Though I don’t find direct joy in remote learning, it has certainly taught Liam to get out of his comfort zone and it has taught me to tackle the challenges of seeing my son struggling. I could either break down and cry and give up, or find the teachable lesson.

When Liam cried and said “Mommy, I just want school,” I told him how I do, too. I validated those feelings and I explained that we can still be joyful. It’s not our choice that we can’t go into a classroom right now, but we can wake up and make the choice to try our best, to play, to draw, to build Legos, to watch our favorite movie, eat our favorite food.

We mediated and incorporated yoga as well during this time, which has been helpful spiritually and very grounding. I have never worked so hard on my mentality in my life. This pandemic and remote learning has taught me, above all else, how you can make lemonade out of lemons. It’s not impossible to wake up, enjoy our children, and accept what we can’t change.

When we accept things and lead with gratitude for the incredible teachers, occupational and speech therapists, and everyone working so hard to also provide for our kids, instead of dwelling on what we wish to change, it’s then that we can truly help our children.

I hope my perspective here has resonated with fellow autism moms. You are strong, you are doing such a great job and, because of our wonderful kids, giving up Is not an option. Instead, find those small joys each day has to offer, leaning in to all the support available and get out of your own head. We need to remember that everyone is overwhelmed during this time and giving a piece of our heart, and not always our mind, is what will connect us all.

I wish everyone the best.

This article was featured in Issue 118 – Reframing Education in the New Normal

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