NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Online Education Can Benefit Children with Special Needs

August 12, 2014

Online education offers a number of opportunities for children with special needs, writes Kate Patrick for Heartlander.

Presence Learning is an online education company specializing in speech and occupational therapy. With alternative coursework for children from kindergarten through twelfth grade, Presence Learning aims to fill a gap between the traditional school model and the needs of certain students. The company started five years ago, offering online courses and therapists to students with disabilities. Many school districts lack speech therapists, but the online model allows the company's therapists to connect to any student across the country via video conference.

The Presence Learning model is not a full curriculum, but a supplement; students still attend the standard brick-and-mortar school. Their online program, however, provides additional aid to students with disabilities, allowing them to keep up with their coursework and excel in school.

According to the company, their speech therapists can do just about anything that a speech therapist would do when working in-person with a student. Their online program provides students with interactive activities, and their ability to do assessments online, rather than in person, saves money.

Source: Kate Patrick, "How Online Education Can Work for Special-Needs Children," Heartlander, August 8, 2014. 


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