Special Needs Kids Learning in Lockdown
For several years now the Hearts of Love Centre in Konotop, Ukraine has been a lifeline for special needs children and their families. When the coronavirus forced them to close their doors, Lena Yuschenko and her team have found creative ways to teach the children online.
“It was a big stress for everybody. For us, for the parents, and of course the children are in lockdown. That is very stressful. But we started looking for other ways of helping them in this situation,” explains Hearts of Love Director, Lena Yuschenko.
“Our workers record video lessons for the children which we send to the parents. The mothers and fathers then work through the sessions with the children and send us questions if they have any.
“It’s a challenge because the lessons that we provide only cover about 20% of their needs. It’s particularly hard for autistic children as they tend to get used to things in a certain way. They are used to a set routine. When the routine changes, it becomes difficult for everybody.”
Team member Vika says the children are responding really well to their online lessons:
“I do speech therapy lessons. I show them exercises that they watch and repeat after me. They’re used to me so when they see me, they try to do what they see. Parents say the children get excited to see our faces. They even call our names and they say oh hello, hello.”
Lena says support from Mercy Projects at this time is greatly appreciated:
“Thanks for all your kind help during these challenging times. It’s very difficult for the children to stay at home. Our main prayer is for everybody to stay healthy and for the lockdown to be over as soon as possible.”