Self-determination and self-regulation strategies can be integrated to support students with Autism in gaining personal awareness and responsibility within distance learning environments
Self-Determination and Self-Regulation skills are personal and social proficiencies that all students need in order to engage in deep, lifelong learning. As educators, we want all individuals to thrive in our changing world, reach their full potential— become their best selves, and do their best. Many students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have moved to a fully online learning platform during the Covid pandemic because the restrictions in the classroom became too challenging. Informed by current research, this paper addresses the question ‘How can Self-Determination and Self-Regulation strategies be integrated to support students with Autism in gaining personal awareness and responsibility within Distance Learning environments?’ The findings of a comprehensive Literature Review have been applied to the creation of a website designed to provide online educators and parents with practical strategies and resources to teach Self-Determination and Self-Regulation skills. These skills are then used to develop the individualized education plan with student voice contributing to the process to ensure that meaningful, thoughtful educational opportunities are implemented. The website was shared with two OLTD students and underwent a peer-review process, and revisions were made based on the feedback. Project limitations included time constraints and limited web design experience. Future research and development are needed to address the whole spectrum of learners with ASD from highly skilled to severely challenged, recognizing the distinct set of strengths and challenges with each individual.