• As parents, we prepare for all sorts of different circumstances that may
    arise in the lives of our children. However, even the most well-organized
    parent likely did not have a plan for the tribulations of facilitating a child’s
    learning while simultaneously managing the emotional, medical, and
    economic difficulties of raising a family during a pandemic. There are
    many aspects to helping children learn at home, but amongst the most
    important challenges parents face over the next several weeks or months
    involve the structure, behavior, and emotional control that their child
    needs to function as a successful at-home learner.

    Space and Structure
    It is easy to underestimate the role that the external classroom structure
    plays in creating an internal learning environment for a child. Desks,
    tables, smart boards and bells dictating beginnings and endings give
    children a way to stay on task and frame their work time. These simple
    environmental cues help a child to get work done and enhance their
    ability to engage their executive functioning system. So, to help your child
    engage without the walls of the school, create a special learning space
    for them, with a distinct singularity between screens used for fun, and
    screens dedicated to learning. Calendars and whiteboards can help them
    organize assignments and block out their hours by subject, just as a bell
    schedule. While precarious at times, this is truly an opportunity to help
    your child learn to internalize external structures in a way that they can
    carry on well beyond the quarantine.

    Becoming a Responsible Online Citizen
    We all hope that the way our children interact online and the way
    they treat one another face-to-face are the same. But, a peek at any
    “comments” section of an online forum sadly reveals that sitting behind
    a screen emboldens people to act in ways that are both unhealthy and
    damaging to interpersonal relationships, as well as their own self-image.
    It’s essential that students understand that once they post an image,
    comment, or any personal material online, it lives there forever. Parents
    can help students promote a positive self-image online by asking them to
    reflect on these questions about what they post:

    Would you want your parents to see or read what you posted?

    Would you say the comment or opinion to someone’s face in the exact
    same way?

    Would this hurt anyone’s feelings?

    How do you want to be seen by others?

    Helping children develop interpersonal skills while simultaneously
    protecting themselves remains an important part of online learning that
    can easily be overlooked in the rush to complete assignments.

    Managing Disappointment
    Finally, managing disappointment about missed events is important
    in order to keep up a child’s morale when trying to learn online. At the
    outset, learning in PJs may seem fun, but as the year moves on and proms,
    trips to Costa Rica, sports & activities, and graduations are canceled,
    children and teens will likely be filled with a keen sense of sadness that
    may be hard to gauge. When children can see that their parents are
    stressed, or that the adults around them seem worried, they are less likely
    to express their emotions. One study found that children’s primary reason
    for controlling their emotional expressions was the expectation of a
    negative interpersonal interaction following disclosure (Garber, 1996). The
    Online Learning: Dealing With the Tasks
    and Emotions of Schooling at Home
    By Dr. Nicolle Ionascu, Diablo Valley Neuropsychology
    job of adults in these circumstances is to help children feel safe expressing
    their feelings, no matter how unsettling they may be.
    As this unusual situation unfolds and parents take on the role of teacher,
    primary caregiver and in some cases, therapist, it is important to keep in
    mind that our kids need more than a just tactical solution. We must help
    our children maintain structure, express themselves responsibly online,
    and maintain a healthy perspective in a way that makes them proud of the
    students and citizens they have become during this unprecedented time.
    If you would like to reach out to me to discuss this article, my email is
    Janice Zeman and Judy Garber, June 1996. Display Rules for Anger, Sadness,
    and Pain: It Depends on Who Is Watching.
    Oxley, C. (2010). Digital citizenship: Developing an ethical and responsible
    online culture. ACCESS, 25 (3), 5-9.

    Comprehensive Neuropsychological Evaluations
    for Children, Adolescents, Adults, and Elders

    Why Neuropsychological Testing?
    • To help determine the cause and extent of observed
    cognitive or behavioral challenges in your child or parent
    • To provide a diagnosis and in depth strategies to remedy or
    reduce the impact of such challenges

    What Conditions/Symptoms Can Benefit From Testing?
    • Young/Adolescent Students: Test Taking Difficulties,
    Concussions, ADHD, Sensory and Learning Disorders,
    Behavioral Difficulties, Anxiety, Depression, Autism
    • Adults/Elders: Memory Changes, Confusion, Word
    Finding Difficulties, Post Stroke, Brain Injury, Dementia

    How Can My Child Benefit From Educational Testing?
    • If your child is struggling in school or has a 504/IEP, an
    in depth evaluation can help provide specific insights to
    help maximize achievement
    • Establish need for college board accommodations