Summary of LDAK 2020 Survey Results
This past fall, 20 parents/caregivers in Kingston and area participated in our survey on current challenges and options for online support - Thank you for sharing!
Read on for a summary of what was learned.
Who was reflected in the survey?
Of the parents/caregivers who completed the survey, 50% reported having a child with a Learning Disability in grade 7 or 8, and 50% in JK - grade 6. Some parents/caregivers answered the survey in relation to multiple of their children, so 30% also reported having a child with a Learning Disability in grades 9-12.
Parents’ Views on Accommodations
Half of the parents/caregivers thought that accommodations for children with Learning Disabilities have been negatively affected by the new educational context.
A few of the missing supports mentioned were lunch and after-school tutoring sessions and the need for one-on-one withdrawal time with SERTs, which have been limited or excluded.
Another one third of the parents/caregivers noticed no difference in accommodations, while a few thought that accommodations had improved.
Challenges faced by Families during Covid-19
Many of the parents/caregivers shared difficulties with home learning, including encouraging children to focus on schoolwork, how to best offer support, and balance their time as working parents. Increased stress on parents, children and teachers, and lacking social interactions were related challenges.
Roughly 75% of the parents/caregivers reported facing barriers in regards to technology, an important gap in the remote learning environment. Challenges around multiple online platforms and helping children understand how to use them were cited.
Changes at School
Lacking supports by the school were highlighted by nearly one third of the parents/caregivers, including issues implementing the IEP and insufficient communication between teachers, parents and resources.
Skills that parents/caregivers desired included support for children’s reading skills, how to boost their children’s self-esteem, navigating transitions to post-secondary, and knowledge on the suitability of French Immersion. Many of the parents/caregivers were interested in learning to navigate the resources available to their children and how to advocate for appropriate supports.
Interest in a Parent Support Group
Nearly 70% of the parents/caregivers expressed interest in virtual parent support meetings. There was significant interest in an online chat forum as well. Many reported wanting to hear from other parents/caregivers about their experiences, how they cope and support their child.
There was interest in sharing common issues and mistakes along with helpful strategies, including practical assistance with the IEP and other specific needs. Multiple parents/caregivers expressed interest in gaining support on social-emotional learning. For example, some wanted to improve their children’s self-esteem, behavioural strategies and life skills.
We thank all of the parents/caregivers who shared their views in the fall 2020 survey. We recognize the types of ongoing challenges families in Kingston and area are facing in the context of Covid-19 and continue to develop our webinars and online resources to help meet these needs.