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Parenting a Child with LD or ADHD

504 Accomodations


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Joined: Nov 03, 2005
Posts: 69138
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Posted Jul 09, 2004 at 10:39:51 AM
Subject: 504 Accomodations

My son will be starting 8th grade in the fall. After a very stressful 7th grade year, we are looking forward to things going better n 8th grade. I am in the process of trying to finalize what accomodations I'd like to have in place on my son's 504 for the upcoming school year (based on what happened in 7th grade). His biggest issue is organization (or lack thereof). I would appreciate hearing what some of the other parents on this board have in place for your child's junior high 504's. Thank you!

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victoria
Joined Jun 13, 2003
Posts: 1784

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Posted:Jul 09, 2004 12:32:31 PM

Please DON'T expect the teachers to take over a lot of the details for him.

It's not practical, and it gets the teachers backs up, to just give them a long long list of things they must do for the child. Especially since junior high teachers are trying to grow the kids up and cut dependence, they see this as not only an excess work demand above the call of duty, but also a professional insult.

Try to think of ways he can be *helped* to work more independently, rather than ways other people can cover for him.
For example: useful -- *all* his papers in *one* backpack or binder, and at home you help him separate and organize. Counterproductive -- complex system of binders and dividers and folders and teachers supposed to file things for him. Useful -- if he misses an assignment, teacher keeps him in class after school or at lunch the following day to finish it under supervision and accepts work with minimal lost points. Counterproductive -- no consequences whatever for missed or late work. Useful -- reduction in "busywork" type homework, filling in sheets etc. Counterproductive -- cutting the real core of the course such as learning to write essays or solve math problems.

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Roxie
Joined Jan 06, 2004
Posts: 114

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Posted:Jul 09, 2004 5:46:42 PM

Can you be more specific as to what are his problems with organization? Is it just things like turing in homework or bringing home the proper books, or does it include organizational skills in tackling homework/papers/ projects?
For my dd, we stopped her 504 after 6th grade, our goal when first starting it was to set it up so that she learned the skills. I specifically didn't want passes for her, just support that helped her learn how to overcome the challenges she had.
Some examples:
Assignment Notebook- this started in 3rd grade, we couldn't even read what she wrote in it, she had trouble copying from the board, so we had the teacher check it for accuracy, when that failed, we actually had a friend of hers assigned to helping her with it, it worked. Another way to deal with this is to get a syllabus from the teacher, daily or weekly. Some teachers have links through their schools websites where they post homework for all students to see.
Text books- this was 2 pronged, my dd often forgot which book to bring home or to bring home books at all. Nothing worse than bringing home the text and leaving the workbook with the problems in it at school. Also, she does not grasp all the information from a lecture or a reading, it helps her greatly to be familar with the topic before it is discussed in class to increase the amount of material she picks up on. We had a second set of books at home. She's in H.S. now, and manages to bring her books home to do the work. Having that second set was never a crutch, infact, I think if anything, it taught her the importance of having her books when she needs them. Sometimes she brings stuff home she doesn't need, but at least it's there if she does need it now.
Projects/research papers/ etc. Basically I'm talking about long term, several step assignments. A child that has trouble with organization is ofen going to be challenged organizing a multifacited project. I was surprised by the number of projects my dd did that required a paper plus another element to show understanding, like a poem, a skit, a poster, a diarama (sp), etc. She had to be taught, step by step how to find pertinent information and get it on to a note card. She also needed assistance on how to decide which informaiton went into which paragraph. She could jumble a paper more than anyone I've ever seen, to the point where it made no sense. She also needed timelines broken down. Some teachers, many teachers, in the jr high level, did this for all students. It should be part of the teaching at this level, IMHO, but if the teaher doesn't do this, they need mini deadlines to turn things in. 1. note cards 2. outline 3. Rough draft 4. edited draft 5. final draft.
Tests- Sometimes teachers provide outlines, sometimes not. My dd couldn't find the important information to save her life, so she would study absolutely everything, and consequently, not remember enough. Providing an outline or study guide helped her learn what the difference was in the extra information and the important information. She now makes up her own study guides for tests, and her own test questions.
Notetaking- all students should be taught this, but they aren't. My dd had a great teacher this last year (9th gr) that taught her how to do more than just copy, word for word, what he put on the board. He taught her how to make extra notes, questions, comments, in the boarders of her paper. An accomodation for a child really struggling with this could be that the teacher does have to look at the child's notes to see what they are getting down on the paper. Yes it is extra work, but it's part of teaching. If a teacher doesn't give the student the tools neccessary to learn, it doesn't matter what they instruct them on in class. You wouldn't tell a carpenter how to build a desk, but not explain how to use the proper tools, ie a hammer vs a sledge hammer for pounding in nails.
**It's always been a big bee in my bonnet when teachers say they don't have the time for things like this. My dd has excelled b/c of teachers that have taught my dd what it means to edit a paper, instead of just telling her to do it, that have taught her how to take notes, in class and from text reading. That have taught her how to use the study rubic, or the organizational web ring, instead of just passing them out and demonstrating an example on the board.
Homework Assignments- This is not a major issue for my dd, but it has popped up more than for the average student. The assignment notebook, with me checking it at home. A folder for homework in elementary grades. My dd actually did do better with a folder for each class and not one large binder in middle school and even now in high school. One binder makes for a huge mass of crummpled papers. We did the color coding, book and folder the same. Now in H.S. She does well with a spiral with pockets, the 5 subject. She uses it for 2 classes, I don't think as many as 3, and changes when she goes to her locker. It helps derease the number of folders and books she needs to carry. Homework is in the pocket. Never should homework be hastily shoved into the backpack in a rush, it ALWAYS seems to end up in a crumpled heap at the bottom, never to be turned in. Since middle school, I have allowed my dd to try several different ways to keep homework and papers organized. It meant extra purchases, but I think what has made her successful is that it is her plan. I just assisted in passing along ideas that I read about and encouraged her to try them. Some other things we've tried: accordian files, the plastic ones, trapper keepers, loose leaf notebooks with pocket dividers- one big one and then a small one for every class, and the color coding folder, spiral, and text book.

For us, the goal of my dd's 504 was always to have it eliminated by the time she was in 9th grade b/c she had built the needed skills to manage her ADHD. Initially, she had accomodations that weren't about teaching her ways to overcome a problem, but built success ex. modified homework, returning homework undone b/c dd was clueless how to do it, with a note from me, pull out sessions in small groups to reteach new concepts, extra time on tests to allow her time to process the questions and respond, Quiet areas to decrease distractions which in turn allowed her to use the skills she was learning. I think a good 504 considers the child's challenges or obstacles, devises several possible ways of attacking that challenge, and implements them with the goal of the student becoming an independent learner with the neccesary souped up skills and tools for that learning. I hope that makes sense, I'm a bit of a rambler today.

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Anonymous
Joined Nov 26, 2014
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Posted:Jul 09, 2004 7:59:33 PM

Hi folks, thanks for your quick responses. As I said, my son struggles with organization. Here are some of the problems we had this year in 7th grade...1)Locker was a disaster! We often called it the "depths of hell" as a joke, but it's not far from reality! 2)Remembering to bring homework home--assignment notebooks have never worked--it's too much of a bother for him to complete daily.

When we started the year, teachers expected 8 spiral notebooks, 8 folders....insane! The kids were not allowed to carry backpacks throughout the day, so he would have to go back to his locker after every class and get his books/paper for the next class. Well, as you can imagine--nothing got put back in the locker in any organized fashion during passing time, so obviously, the next hour class materials couldn't be found! Lost notes, lost assignments. Finally, we decided to create "command central", which consisted of a huge 3 ring zippered binder, folders, loose leaf paper, etc. Each class section was clearly labled. At the front of the binder a bag held all pencils, calculators, markers, etc (this bag was empty nearly every week). What happens to pens/pencils with these kids? Also at the front of the binder was a folder labled "homework to do", and another labled "homework completed". Each day, when he got an assigment in a class due the next day, it went into "homework to do". This binder came home every day. When he finished the homework at home, it went into "homework completed". This way, he always went to the same place to get finished work. It really did work very well and helped cut down on late assignments. The multiple folders/notebooks was a virtual nightmare for him. We plan on using this same system for 8th grade.

Part of my son's problems in school were caused by general laziness, I believe. Just being an adolescent. More into the social than the educational aspect of school. I think he was really overwhelmed with how hard 7th grade was compared to 6th grade.

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Roxie
Joined Jan 06, 2004
Posts: 114

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Posted:Jul 10, 2004 11:08:31 AM

It sounds like you are on the right track. Your son is finding out what does and doesn't work for him. During my dd's years in middle school I finally stopped worrying about what the teachers requested on the supplies list and just tried to find what would work for my child. The locker can be a huge problem. A lot of kids, ADHD or not, can't keep their lockers clean. Can you arrange for him to arrive early or stay late once a week to clear his locker? After doing this for a while, he may stumble upon a way to keep it more organized. I have to ask you also, the assignment notebook, you said it never worked for your son. How does he remember assignments that aren't on a sheet of paper that can be tucked into a folder pocket? Does he have a system for tracking long term assignments, or does he end up doing them last minute? My dd had a hard time using an assignment notebook, she still doesn't like it, if she didn't write it down, she'd never do all her homework, or remember to prepare for tests. Is he just really good at remembering details?

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