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Family Resource Associates stays connected with children using remote learning, telehealth

Family Resource Associates students use Zoom to communicate during the coronavirus pandemic.PHOTO COURTEST OF FAMILY RESOURCE ASSOCIATES
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Family Resource Associates students use Zoom to communicate during the coronavirus pandemic.PHOTO COURTEST OF FAMILY RESOURCE ASSOCIATES

Individuals enrolled in one of more than 20 classes offered by Family Resource Associates (FRA), which serves people of all ages who have developmental or acquired disAbilities, are now using remote learning to stay in touch.

“It is fabulous to have over 70 of our students joining our daily remote learning sessions being taught by our highly qualified instructors,” said Nancy Phalanukorn, executive director of FRA, in a statement provided by the organization. “Many of our students have taken computer-based classes for years, giving them a real ease and functional use of the computer at home.”

Students from the Monmouth/Ocean county area are connecting through Google Classroom, Classroom Dojo, Zoom and other standard apps.

“Every day our students take on new lessons, persevere in their focus and work hard to participate in activities with various apps,” Jen Lindsay said in the statement. “They also love this new way of interacting with their friends and classmates.”

One parent said her son loves remote learning so much that he may be resistant to coming back into the real classroom.

“Parents have been a true asset for making this happen,” Lindsay said in the statement. “It is clear that technology can level the playing field for all of us.”

To ensure the entire FRA community stays active, hip-hop dance and karate classes have also moved to remote instruction with 10 sessions offered throughout the week. Most of the 100 students join their regular class.

Job coaches at FRA were able to move directly to remote services as well, according to the statement. Interns in the Monmouth Medical Center Project SEARCH program continue to make strides. Learning transferable work skills in real job settings, these interns had to leave their positions as COVID-19 took the forefront of the hospital’s medical attention. This vocational program, supported by the NJ Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services, NJ Division of Developmental DisAbilities and public schools, has fully supported the transition to remote learning, according to the statement.

“This sudden shift in learning delivery has actually supported our interns in being resilient and adaptable when things just don’t go as planned,” Phillip Duck, director of EmployAbility, said in the statement.

Before COVID-19, FRA was seeing more than 250 children from birth to 3 years old with developmental delays and disabilities each week in their homes and daycare centers. With the social distancing orders in effect, even services for babies have changed.

“FRA’s team of 60 early intervention specialists has now been trained to give high quality Telehealth services to our little ones as well,” Phalanukorn said in the statement.

One FRA parent shared, “I was so happy to see how successful the structure of a telehealth session works from a parent’s view. My daughter was engaged, and her physical therapist was able to prompt me to assist her in a better way. Telehealth is truly perfect for early intervention, as the end goal is to develop a home program that we, the parents, can carry over to use the materials we have readily available during our routine/daily activities. We cannot wait to see the continued progress my daughter makes.”

To learn more about FRA-PossAbilities for People with disAbilities, visit www.frainc.org or call 732-747-5310.

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