While the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted education, students with disabilities were particularly affected. A new study from IU School of Education researchers investigates how educators modified individualized education programs (IEP) and adapted interventions to provide academic, behavioral and social-emotional support to autistic students.
Assistant Professor Sarah Hurwitz, Blaine Garman-McClaine Ph.D. student in special education and Kane Carlock, Ph.D. student in school psychology surveyed teachers from 40 different school districts across Indiana in the study, with 106 teachers and specialists who work primarily with elementary-aged students responding. Originally, the team was concerned about how the pandemic was affecting services such as speech pathology that kids with learning and other disabilities are legally entitled to get and wanted to know how teachers were getting those services to kids under such challenging circumstances.
“[Kids with disabilities] need routine, they need structure, they cannot really learn easily on Zoom. Distance learning is especially difficult for [them],” Hurwitz explained.