As a community, The Windward School is committed to providing children with dyslexia and language-based learning disabilities with a rich and multisensory curriculum, along with structure, warmth, and safety. During this unprecedented public health situation that the world is facing with COVID-19, transitioning to at-home remote learning instead of direct instruction in a familiar school environment is highly disruptive, and this may be even more disruptive for a child with unique learning needs.
Rachel Busman, PsyD, senior director of the anxiety disorders center at the Child Mind Institute, offered the following thoughts and resources for supporting families during COVID-19.
"In terms of how to manage the near future, do your best to help your child stick to a schedule of 'things to be done' and 'things to look forward to soon,'" said Dr. Busman. "Using a visual schedule may help greatly. However, be flexible, with your child and with yourself. You are not expected to be your child’s teacher. Be the best caregiver that you can, take care of yourself and please reach out to Windward for support."
On March 18, Dr. Busman answered questions around parenting during the coronavirus for a Facebook Live video chat on the Child Mind Institute's Facebook page. Watch the video here.
The Child Mind Institute provides a number of articles on how families can cope during COVID-19, but here is one that gives advice on nurturing and protecting children at home.
From the New York Times, read this article on "How to Talk to Kids About Coronavirus."
Annie Simpson, PhD, provided tips in a Psychology Today article about "How to Talk to Your Anxious Child About the Coronavirus."
Read this article on "Explaining the News to Our Kids," which would be helpful for the coronavirus pandemic and other dramatic news events.
For a factual but informative way to explain COVID-19 to children, share this comic with them from NPR.
Dr. Busman will be visiting Windward in the upcoming months, as she will be the presenter for The Windward School and The Windward Institute Fall Community Lecture on October 22, 2020. For more information about our Community Lecture series, please visit here.