IEP Regression and Distance Learning
Regression is one of our biggest fears as parents. Our kids are already behind their peers and we work so hard to help them close the gap. So it’s incredibly disheartening to witness regression.
I did a Facebook Live today with Dr. Monica McHale, President of the Learning Disabilities Association of America. You can watch the video here in this post, plus I will share the resources that we talked about.
Please note that this post and this video has to do with skill regression and the current national quarantine crisis that we are experiencing. Once we have returned to normal, I will edit the post to be more general and deal with regular IEP regression.
Talking about IEP Regression
Here is the LINK TO VIDEO if the embed doesn’t work.
Causes of IEP Regression
Some regression is planned, like what we’re dealing with now. Most IEP skill regression is unplanned.
- extended illness
- summer breaks
- lack of appropriate instruction
- insufficient amount of instruction
- lack of opportunity/reinforcement
One of the reasons I feel less stressed about the current possibility of regression is that we can plan for it and attack it before it happens.
Focus on the Positive
Many of us, for the first time ever, are going to have 100% control over our kids’ environments. And, it’s happening to everyone, not just our kids.
We’re also a bit lucky in that we have IEPs. We know what needs have been identified in our kids and what interventions are working or not working. Many parents have not been giving that and have no starting point. We do.
What is Regression?
Speaking in IEP terms, regression is the loss of previously attained skills. These can include, but are not limited to:
- academic skills
- social and emotional learning (SEL)
- ADLs, activities of daily living
- executive functioning skills
- mental health skills such as coping mechanisms
Focus on what you can control, and that is: Your child’s current environment, the opportunities that will be presented to them (to our maximum ability and resources) and the feedback they receive.
This is huge! We can do intense case studies right now and have data to give to the schools.
Regression Monitoring Printable Templates
By popular demand, I created a couple of templates. And, a friend also shared some with me, including one in Spanish.
Decide what you wish to accomplish during the quarantine.
Gather your IEP regression planning data.
But, what you teach and do over the next few weeks doesn’t have to be all about the IEP. You can work on ADLs, valuable life skills, toilet training, cooking, and other personal skills. Keep it needs-based, but it also should be fun.
You can use your IEP present levels section as a source of baselines, but you should also include real-life experiences. What are you seeing now? If your IEP says your child can do this, can they?
Develop a Regression Attack Plan.
Don’t overthink this. Keep it to what you need and what you are capable of doing. That includes what resources you have, how much time you can commit and what cognitive horsepower you have, including emotional. These are tough times. It’s ok to admit that and dial it back a bit. A lot is being asked of some people right now. If it’s too much, cut back.
You can do this.
When we return to school, we are going to hear about a whole spectrum of learning experiences. Some parents will have done nothing, and that’s ok–not everyone can. And some parents will have built mini-classrooms in their homes and done an extraordinary amount of teaching. And everything in between.
You do you. We’re all doing the best we can with what we have.
How to Deal with IEP Skill Regression
How to Deal with IEP Skill Regression
- Gather Data.
What data do you have available to you right now? IEP, Present Levels, life experiences that you are witnessing.
Knowing the data and resources that you have available to you, decide what you want to accomplish in the coming weeks and months.
- Develop a plan.
Plan out what you’re going to do. What are you going to do, what are you going to use? How much time will you spend on this daily or weekly?
Implement your plan.
- Record and review.
Write down what you’re doing and what the results are. Doesn’t have to be fancy or complicated. A simple notebook will do. Review and adjust as necessary.
- Compile your data.
When it’s time to go back to school, review steps 1 and 5 and have your data ready to present to the school.
Resources we talked about
- Sonday System
- Sonday System on Ebay
- Learning Disabilities Association of America (sign up for email so you will be notified when they put out new resources!)
- I’m also including some printable data collection sheets, if that helps.
Most importantly, hang in there. We’re all in this together and we will get through it.