Does your child’s homework take too long?
Is he disorganized or distracted at school?
Has your child been diagnosed with ADHD, Executive Function Disorder, or other disability? If so, she may be eligible for accommodations under the Section 504 plan. Many of these accommodations are instrumental in helping children succeed in school. If you think your child would benefit from any of the below accommodations, talk to your child’s counselor. If your child has not been diagnosed with any disability, but you suspect one, talk to the counselor about getting an evaluation. You can also get an evaluation from a private therapist. For advice about your child’s particular needs and recommendations, call Tutoring For Success at 703-390-9220.
“Accommodations should be documented in the written Section 504 Plan (sometimes referred to as an Individual Accommodation Plan, or IAP, and not to be confused with an Individualized Education Program, or IEP). Here are several examples of appropriate accommodations that might be included in a Section 504 Plan for a child with ADHD:
- Reducing the number of homework problems without reducing the level or content of what is being taught.
- Giving the student a quiet place to work, free from distractions.
- Providing clear and simple directions for homework and in-class assignments.
- Giving tests in a quiet place, breaking tests into small pieces, modifying test format, and/or providing extra time.
- Using audio recording devices or giving the student a copy of notes.
- Using positive behavioral intervention techniques, including positive reinforcement.
- Having a nurse or administrator oversee a student’s medication administration and/or monitor a medication’s effects.
- Meeting with the school counselor to work on academic and/or behavioral challenges.
- Creating a communication notebook so that parents and teachers may keep each other informed of the child’s progress or difficulties.”
Did you know that you can sometimes get simple accommodations without a formal 504 plan? In both elementary and high school, I asked my daughter’s teacher to reduce the number of math problems because homework was taking too long. Both teachers were happy to do so, the grades did not suffer, and more free time materialized.
Another time, my 3rd grade daughter couldn’t manage to keep her supplies in her desk – they were always overflowing onto the floor. The teacher helpfully provided a bin to set next to her desk to hold overflowing materials.
Most teachers realize that every child is unique and will work with you to improve the academic life of your child. Don’t be afraid to ask.
Cheryl Gedzelman, President, Tutoring For Success