How COVID-19 Impacts Special Education Students


This is a resource created by Giuliana Pantone, MS, CCC-SLP a Speech-Language Pathologist at Italian Home for Children.


While schools throughout Massachusetts are closed, the Italian Home for Children’s Pallotta Educational Center has been working tirelessly to ensure the best outcomes for our students. Our team of teachers and specialists are creating weekly packets to target students’ individual IEP goals. These packets include academic work, reading resources, and activities from related service providers (i.e., Speech-Language Pathologist, Occupational Therapist) for students who receive these services.

Our goal during this time is for students to maintain learned skills. We are not expecting students to teach themselves or engage in learning for 7 hours a day. A typical school day is made up of whole-class instruction, individual work, breaks (i.e., recess, lunch), and specials like art and music.

What does this mean for parents?

This is your opportunity to see where your child is academically. Remember students in special education may require accommodations (i.e., extra time, read aloud) to complete their schoolwork. These supports are developed specifically for each student, so please review your child’s IEP to better understand their needs as a learner.

Strategies to help


While learning takes place at home, we recommended creating a visual schedule, setting daily workload expectations, and using positive praise.

1) Make a visual schedule to help your family stick to a routine, such as this example being shared online.

2) Set attainable workload expectations. One Italian Home parent shared this idea with us:

____________________’s Daily Plan

  • 1 Math worksheet
  • 1 Reading or spelling worksheet
  • 1 Online activity (science or history)
  • 1 Speech activity (M, W)
  • 1 OT activity (T, TH)
  • Read 15-30 minutes
  • Journal 3-5 sentences
  • Math or word game (choice)

3) Use positive praise and rewards. Recognize your child’s efforts by telling them their doing a great job! You can also encourage movement and mindfulness breaks using GoNoodle (

50 Ways to Praise a Child

50 Ways to Praise a Child
50 Ways to Praise a Child

We hope you found this information helpful! If you need more information or assistance educating your child from home, reach out to your child’s teacher or ask an older sibling to help.

Stay healthy and safe!