The impact of the pandemic on the learning of young people with mental disorders

That the pandemic impacted the learning of children and adolescents is already clear. However, when it comes to an audience with certain neurodevelopmental disorders, such as ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), Down Syndrome, Asperger, dyslexia and autism. With that, what is the best way to adapt online teaching for these young people?

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  • Did learning through the internet impact the development of children in this pandemic?
  • How to use technology in children’s education in a healthy way and without excesses

Psychopedagogue Luciana Brites — CEO of Instituto NeuroSaber, focused on enhancing the development of children and teenagers — states that neurodevelopmental disorders originate from brain dysfunction, so this audience needs more assistance, because it is as if certain areas of the brain were malfunctioning.

” The child can get better over time. For this, this child needs structured, systematized learning, and all these disorders can be very well developed and optimized. The pandemic has changed a lot according to age. Many children and young people did not go to therapy. This audience needs a lot of support from the teacher”, says the expert.

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Luciana points out that these young people have difficulty learning through the internet because in the classroom, the teacher is able to mediate more direct, with a more objective language, and direct learning in a more structured way, ensuring a higher level of success. “That is why it is very important to organize the presence of the mediator during this process”, he recommends. The specialist recalls that these disorders often generate attention and memory difficulties.

Dr. Clay Brites, one of the founders of the NeuroSaber Institute, also warns of the need for greater assistance, especially at a time like the pandemic. “Overall, the pandemic impacted the learning of these children, because they need greater support, and many have not. Many even needed clinical interventions with a speech therapist, psychopedagogist, and the pandemic prevented parents from leaving home”, reports the child neurologist.

“Internet learning requires much more engagement, readiness, selective attention. Usually a child already has difficulty with this, imagine one with ADHD, autism or syndromes that have difficulties with concentration? The internet itself is extremely challenging in the pedagogical process, because during the online class, the child receives distracting stimuli, whether on the screen or at home, an environment that was not prepared for this”, reflects the expert, who even launched recently the book “How to deal with minds racing a thousand per hour: Understand ADHD once and for all and discover how hyperactive and inattentive minds can have a successful life”.

Included are in the learning of children and young people with disorders

(Image: August de Richelieu /Pexels)

Who may have the answer for inclusion in the learning of children and young people with disabilities is Smartick, which brings a new method of learning mathematics for children. Basically, the program incorporates artificial intelligence that creates personalized sessions that are tailored to each student’s math skills and learning pace.

Aimed at children ages 4 to 14 years, the program generates exercises in real time, providing instant feedback, corrections and interactive tutorials. One of the main proposals of this new method is to be inclusive for students with Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity (ADHD), Down Syndrome, Asperger, dyslexia, autism and giftedness.

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, Smartick’s spokesperson, Eduarda Alves, says that the method was created in response to the growing number of students with low performance in mathematics, under the premise of suiting everyone, regardless of their level of knowledge. “With the Smartick method and all the adaptability it proposes, we were able to help democratize the teaching of mathematics. Because it is ideal for serving a variety of students, who in a school class would possibly not have such personalized attention,” he explains.

Asked how this inclusion is done in practice, Eduarda clarifies that Smartick has a pedagogical team, which provides personalized follow-up to each student and is available to resolve any doubts, both from students and their guardians. “Another differential of the method is the positive reinforcement used and the gamification of the platform, with which it is possible to work on the intrinsic motivation of children and encourage them, without forgetting the main objective, which is the autonomous learning of mathematics”, he says. .

According to the spokesperson, a teaching method that follows the child’s pace and not the other way around, allows greater chances that the basic contents are well assimilated, favoring the child to go advancing in complexity without leaving “holes” in your learning. “Thinking about positive impacts, in addition to optimizing teaching time, it enhances the child’s learning, and attributes other skills simultaneously, such as autonomy, agility, logical reasoning, independence, and self-esteem, for example, since the teaching is being done in the right way and ideally the reality of it”, adds Eduarda.

One of the users of this method is Manuel Martin, from Spain, who now resides in the United Kingdom. He was “detected” with dyscalculia at 14 years old, and at school, he struggled with additions, subtracts and number series. “In high school, the biggest difficulties with math were that I misrepresented signs and numbers in the middle of long problems, but other than that I never had problems with the logic of the questions, I always knew how to use the proper method for a given solution, in fact I really liked it. I did computer engineering and, luckily, now the machines do the operations for me”, he says.

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