The 21st Show

Challenges Of Online Learning For Students With Special Needs


Karen Apricot/

So-called “e-learning” has been a challenge for many families. But for kids with special needs, it can be even harder.

As schools rely on parents and caregivers to deliver remote instruction to students, many families across Illinois have had to figure out their new roles as both parent and teacher. But that transition from caregiver to educator can be particularly challenging for parents of students with special needs. 

Students with special needs and their families often rely on individualized support services provided by their school district. That could be anything from speech pathologists to one-on-one nursing. But with school buildings closed, a lot of those support services have disappeared. 

Another challenge has been screens. Some students with special needs can’t use an iPad or a Chromebook for extended periods of time, making e-learning a struggle for both student and parent to navigate.

Guests: Nicole Schlechter a mom of 4 whose oldest son has autism, ADHD and anxiety from Pingree Grove. Cindy Kline a special education teacher at Triad Community Unit School District 2 in Troy. Lee Gaines the education reporter at WILL's Illinois Newsroom.