Every Student Is Different

Every Student Is Different

There have been many changes regarding the COVID-19 virus outbreak. One of the most alarming changes that has taken place throughout these past months is the shut down of schools globally. As of now, students are expected to complete their assignments and graduation requirements through online programs. However, that is not as easy as it sounds for all students at this time.

Jen Cole, a social worker for the state of Pennsylvania, has shed some light on the academic lives of students with learning disabilities. She says that “students with learning disabilities are required to have an individualized education plan (IEP) and it is currently very difficult to provide the services that are in an IEP at this time like: physical, speech, occupational, and emotional therapy.”

With that being said, some students with mental/learning disabilities are not able to receive the academic resources they are legally entitled to at a physical school district. In fact, most schools have even changed their grading system for their last quarter to pass or fail grading, making it even more difficult. Ms. Cole communicated that even though this system of grading seems to “level the playing field” for some students, it is unfair to those who have trouble with learning on their own with no home support.

“Social workers are dong everything they can to help provide students, and their families, with the recourses that their school is able to provide,” she says. Although, that is not always enough. Students with learning disabilities are normally given extended test taking, test changes, and school based counseling with their IEP. However, with everything being online, these students can’t always get what they legally deserve from their schools.

Therefore, everyone is feeling stress and high anxiety at this time. However, as Jen Cole has explained, every student is different. “I think that the online learning for some students with learning disabilities is a blessing in disguise because they can have more time and organize things that are better for them,” she says. Therefore some students are getting what they need and then some, and other kids are struggling with little support. Social workers are doing everything they can to meet the academic needs of each student, but they can only do as much as the schools are providing. So, let this be a reminder to all teachers that just because a student is home completing their assignments, does not mean that they are comfortable with what they are being provided.