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Cantalician school families tap into 'Distance Learning'

Cantalician mom: “It's helped tremendously"
Posted at 5:00 PM, Mar 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-31 18:42:38-04

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — School families across the nation are being challenged with “Distance Learning” during this pandemic and it can be even more difficult for students with mental and physical disabilities that rely on their school for daily help.

7 Eyewitness News senior reporter Eileen Buckley tells us how the Cantalician Center for Learning has been supporting school families with daily support.

Grace Davis talks about how Distance Learning is helping her son,

“This being so erupt - it’s disrupted his routine a little bit,” said Grace Davis of Buffalo.

Davis’ 11-year-old son Braydon is non-verbal with autism.

But since he was two-years old he's been attending the Cantalician Center for Learning. Now, during the COVID-19 outbreak, the school is providing distance learning for its school families through google classroom.

“It’s very helpful for him to see you know things that he sees at school, like the music, the same type of books that they are using, so it feels comforting to have for him to have that,” Davis explained.

“The teachers and therapists have really honed in on different areas for parents to try and facilitate what we do at school at home,” stated Tia Phelps, curriculum instruction coordinator at Cantalician.

“We’ve keep the lessons simple and engaging and fun for the students that's why we're posting videos, so they can see our face, so that they see their teachers,” Phelps remarked.

11-year-old Braydon is non-verbal with autism and is home working on his learning.

The school has instructions for families to follow for the Distance Learning platform to access Google Classroom.

“Our students would regress quickly in their skills, we notice that even from weekends that's why we go all year round — because our students regress significantly in skills,” Phelps replied.

Phelps said the biggest two challenges in setting up the learning platform was setting up individual learning plans and making sure all school families had internet/computer access.

“But they have preserved through the first week of it,” Phelps remarked.

Phelps noted the effort has been successful, with a majority of Cantalician students, more than 200 now using Distance Learning in their homes.

School families have been encouraged to load their videos on the Cantalician Facebook page.

Brayden's mom says she's thankful for the "wonderful lessons and resources" provided by Cantalician teachers and therapists.

“Has it worked out well for you?” Buckley asked. “It's helped tremendously. He gets to see his teachers in their own surroundings. It's eased his anxiety a lot, knowing that they are thinking about him,” Davis responded.

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Davis says it's very hard to make her son understand about the coronavirus and how it has changed his daily routine, but the family is managing.

“At home we have a different more laid back type of routine, so we’ve had to change very quickly and adjust. He doesn't understand that he has to step up his routine here at home and its change dramatically, so a lot of bribery helps - it goes a long way,” laughed Davis.