Perspective: Special Needs Parents and Online Learning

We have heard from many parents in recent weeks as they learned to navigate the new normal: balancing work, parenting, online schooling for their children. In response, the Kadiant team has actively worked to support online learning programs, adjust methods of providing services, and collaborate with families and schools. To help us better support our clients, we surveyed our families and received some preliminary data regarding their experience with their children’s online education.

The responses we received indicated the importance of ABA services and highlighted some ways that the Kadiant team can better support our clients.

Nearly 90% of our families reported having an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for their child—a plan that likely has and will face challenges with implementation in the fall given many schools’ transition to online instruction. Of those families, almost 40% of their IEPs have ABA included! So, apart from those few individuals with autism who can access all of their school programs online, those nearly 40% of students will be unlikely to receive ABA services.

ABA paired with other services

More strikingly, almost 86% of clients who responded have speech-language services included in their IEP. In other words, nearly all of families who responded reported accessing SLP services through their child’s school program. Again, there are some students with autism who can meaningfully participate in—and learn from—remote speech services; however, most will be unable to do so with some in-person treatment.

Most notably, however, 59% of respondents would either not be willing to or are unsure if they would send their kids to in-person school in the fall.

Source: Survey Monkey, July 28, 2020 Survey

Additionally, nearly 80% of respondents report that their child(ren) can participate remotely in the online learning environment, but only with support.

Empowering Families During COVID

No matter what decision parents make regarding their child’s education, Kadiant is committed to meeting each family’s unique needs and creating programs that help each child succeed personally, academically, socially, and developmentally. These insights from our clients have indicated to us the importance of being proactive with our approach to online learning, especially as 89% of respondents say they want to extend their ABA schedule to cover school hours.

The Kadiant team has made an ongoing effort to work with families to offer programs and resources throughout the pandemic, including generating quick tips preparing families for online learning, creating resources, adjusting behavior intervention plans, and frequently requesting family feedback to ensure success.

Not Sure How to Approach Online Learning?

If you or your family are seeking ways to manage the online school setting this fall, or if you know someone that might benefit from ABA services, contact us at, or schedule a time to speak with a Kadiant Intake Specialist at the link below.