NAU program helping kids with special needs navigate online learning | State of Arizona Schools

FLAGSTAFF, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — Sarah Dorman from Flagstaff has been on a mission to help her 11-year-old son with special needs and many other families facing online learning hurdles. The mother of two decided to reach out to Northern Arizona University with an idea to utilize college students who are hungry for experience.

“You can’t understate the value of our future educators; they have the heart for our kiddos,” said Dorman.

She helped kick-start a new program at the College of Education where seniors can get credit for going into families’ homes and helping students with disabilities with virtual learning.

“They are literally making a difference for some of our most deserving students in such a unique way. It has been wonderful,” said Michelle Novelli, an assistant clinical professor with the Department of Teaching and Learning at NAU.

Novelli said the students in the program trained for weeks before starting. They work in teams of two and go into homes twice a week. So far, five families are taking advantage of the program but Novelli. Meantime, Dorman said she is beyond grateful for the help of navigating these unprecedented times.

“The moms and the dads and the families of special needs kids have the benefit of getting that assistance and being able to take that breath. There is a relief there that is big,” said Dorman.


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