September Newsletter | Working with Caregivers

Caregivers and Teachers Working Together 

Due to COVID-19, educators have had to rethink what classrooms, learning, and even instruction looks like. Caregivers and families have always played an integral role in their children’s education, but now are being asked to play an even bigger role. In remote or hybrid learning, caregivers are often supporting their children in navigating instruction, breaks, and independent work.

For many reasons, the amount each caregiver and family can dedicate to supporting their child’s education falls on a continuum. While some caregivers are able to be more hands-on throughout the day, others do not have the same ability. Below we navigate some ways for caregivers and teachers to support each other during these unprecedented times.

Focus on Routines

Students with autism and other developmental disabilities have incredible strengths, including being excellent visual learners who tend to enjoy following routines. Starting with routines will be an instant hit. Regardless of the type of instruction (in-person, remote, or hybrid), supporting students in their routines will help set them up for success both at home and within the classroom.

Caregivers can set up home routines around bedtime, activities with family members, and even working on the computer, with our FREE home supports. We encourage families to use these, along with our transition and behavior resources, to make routines easier for both families and students. Teachers can also use our Learning During COVID-19 resources to help support students in the classroom and at home as they navigate new routines and encounter changes in daily life. If you are a Media Center subscriber, check out our visuals around wearing a mask and social distancing.

Foster Communication

Communication between caregivers and teachers is key to understanding expectations, availability, and accessibility this year. Finding innovative ways to stay in touch can be a challenge, so here are a few quick tips:

  • For in-person or hybrid learning, newsletters (like this one!) are an easy way to stay in touch. We include newsletters with each of our Themes First! and Routine Teaching Unit releases every month. They include a quick overview of the unit, activities, and vocabulary words students will be learning, as well as provide a space for teacher comments. Take a peek at our newsletter from our latest Themes First! unit, Hello Fall. Grab it here. (Teachers, also share this newsletter with caregivers so they have easy access to links and shared resources!)
  • For remote learning, communicating expectations on how to support learning from home is important. For our SOLS subscribers, we provide free home resources to help equip caregivers with tools needed for remote instruction, including a dedicated caregiver REEL so caregivers are set up for success from the very beginning. 

Remember: We're All in This Together

We are starting off this school year in unprecedented times. Whether your district is providing in-person, remote, or hybrid instruction, we are here to help. Teachers, educators, staff, caregivers, and families, thank you for allowing us to be part of the educational experience for your child or the children you teach. If we can help you navigate these times, don’t hesitate to reach out.