504 Accommodations often represent good ways to help a student with ADHD and/or Anxiety Challenges. IEP Accommodations are often the same. – a 504 represents accommodations covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act
– an IEP, or Individualized Education Plan, is covered by IDEA, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. These often include:
- Time and a half or double time for tests
- Small group testing
- Test instructions and questions read to the student, where allowed
- Copies of notes and homework assignments
- Use of audio books
- Preferential seating
- Reduced homework, where appropriate. Reduced math problems is a common accommodation.
The following challenges have led us to recommend other 504 Accommodations and IEP Accommodations:
- Too often a student loses focus during extended time and changes right answers to wrong ones. For high stakes testing, one can consider doing the test over more days. For example, if a test is normally two 80 minutes tests, time and a half would give the student 120 minutes. If the student loses focus, we would recommend doing the test for 60 minutes a day over 4 days. This recommendation came from a high ranking person in the Florida Department of Education
- Students with attention and/or anxiety issues often get thrown off when they do not know what to expect. We recommend giving students in elementary school a visual schedule on their desk.
- Students needing accommodations often struggle with slow processing. We recommend the teacher give then a few more seconds to respond.
- Too often students will not admit they do not understand something. We recommend using a non-verbal cue to alert the teacher the student is lost. This may be touching the chine or a red card placed at the top of the desk.
With 504 Accommodations — Assume Nothing
Too often the initial meeting goes well, but then 504 accommodations are not followed. This is not the rule, but it happens too often to ignore.
We recommend ending the meeting with key points:
- Thanking everyone for their help
- If a teacher is not there for the entire meeting, make sure they will get a copy of what has been agreed to
- Making sure the team knows that you will be following up within 10 ten days. You expect to report accommodations are being followed. If not …
- You will call for an immediate reconvening of the team
If you have any questions, call us at 561-361-7495