Title: Exploring Parents’ Perspectives on Distance Learning for Children with ASD in UAE
Stream: Education & Difference: Gifted Education, Special Education, Learning Difficulties & Disability
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation
Maria Efstratopoulou, United Arab Emirates University, United Arab Emirates
Omniah AlQahtani, United Arab Emirates University, United Arab Emirates
Distance learning (DL) can significantly contribute to education in situations like the covid 19 pandemic, which the world experienced recently. During the lockdown period, many educational programs have been changed, making it possible to continue the learning process for learners with disabilities, particularly students with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The study aimed to explore the distance learning procedure from the perspectives of parents of children with ASD in the UAE. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with six mothers of Emirati ASD learners to discuss the benefits and challenges of the distance learning procedure. Parents' responses indicated some advantages of the DL procedure during lockdown situations; however, many challenges for ASD students and their parents were reported, especially in communication. Parents' suggestions to improve the quality of the distance learning process were considered in the study's discussion. Training for parents and teachers was highly suggested to overcome the obstacles during DL and improve their overall experience.
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