Parenting a Child with LD or ADHD

Dysgraphia Accommodations

Author Message
Joined: Mar 21, 2005
Posts: 3
Other Topics
Posted Mar 22, 2006 at 1:26:18 AM
Subject: Dysgraphia Accommodations

Can anyone help me figure out how to get help / typing accommodations, and extended time on tests allowed for my child during high school if you don't have an IEP or 504 plan in middle school. What if your child is very high ability, and makes A' & B's, but needs computer assistance to help him get through essay questions on tests without having to spend a lot of time handwriting question answers? I have a list of dysgraphia accomodations my child should receive that was written by his physician saying that Dysgraphia is covered by The State of Texas Dyslexia and Related Disorders Legislation, is incorporated into the State Board of Education Code and is administered by Regular Education. This document is on file at my child's middle school. He receives accommodations as needed in middle school, but the high school counselor is telling me you have to have an IEP or 504 plan to be allowed accommodations in high school, and you must receive accommodations 'daily' in high school to help qualify you for dysgraphia accommodations on college board tests.
If you have any suggestions, or ways to help me understand IEP and 504, and if I need to get this for my son, please let me know.

Back to top Profile Email
Joined May 12, 2005
Posts: 218

Other Topics
Posted:Mar 22, 2006 11:55:34 PM

You might want to join the dysgraphia list at http://groups.yahoo.com.

Some high schools will write up accommodations for students even if they don't have an IEP or 504 plan. Where I am, this is called an RIEP (Regular Individualized Education Plan). It's not legally binding, but it does provide a helpful interface between parents and teachers. Assistive technology such as laptops and AlphaSmarts are allowed in all classrooms, even for those without any disability.

Basically, if there isn't sufficient discrepancy for an IEP, you won't get one. Many states are tightening up requirements for the 504 also, limiting them to civil rights type situations involving discrimination in the traditional sense -- providing equal opportunity to someone in a wheelchair, for example. Unless the dysgraphia is really severe, it is not seen as limiting equal access.

The college boards have become really difficult in terms of getting accommodations for the tests, even for students with IEPs or 504 plans. They require review of each case and they require proof of current disability as well as a history of regular accommodations in the classroom for the disability. Without an IEP or 504, I seriously doubt you would be able to get accommodations for the testing. Their fear is that students without a disability will get an accommodation that gives them an advantage over their peers in the testing.

Your best bet is to plan on having your son take the ACT instead of the new SAT. Many colleges prefer the ACT. If your son is set on going to a school that requires the SAT, then your best bet is to supplement school with private tutoring in writing.

Back to top Profile Email
Joined Jun 14, 2003
Posts: 1845

Other Topics
Posted:Mar 28, 2006 3:45:26 PM

It would be worth taking the steps to get the 504 for accommodations for dysgraphia; schools are often *much* more willing to go this route. It may help to talk about getting an IEP so that they 'bargain down' to a 504, but it doesn't sound like he needs an IEP at all, which would mean he needed an individualized education, not a way to access the regular education.
Do you know anybody who *does* have a 504 and how they got it?
It could be that the documentation you've got will be enough, and that thecounselor simply needs to be prodded; their caseloads tend to be monstrous, so the best strategy is to make their path of least resistance the path to helping you get that 504.
Accommodations on the SATs are incredibly difficult to get - but the place to start would be that 504. They don't begin to say "maybe" unless an accommodation is down as being needed all the time (so at the high school where I taught, all students who would need it had that language in their IEPs: Joe will have ____ accommodation for all testing including standardized testing or something like that. )

Sue J, webmastress www.resourceroom.net

Back to top Profile Email
Joined Sep 12, 2008
Posts: 1

Other Topics
Posted:Sep 12, 2008 7:42:57 AM

I am going thru the same things with my daughter (presently a sophmore in HS). She does not have an IEP, but I have been informed she has a PEP. What that means it's a PERSONAL EP, versus an Individual one. I know sounds silly doesn't it? What it boils down to is there is a person at her school that their job is to keep up with certain students because of learning problems. We tried the resource classes and found them to be more of a problem than a solution. She did awesome in the resource class, but had difficulty when she went back to her regular class and had to take her standardized test. We have had to work with her pretty routinly with repetitive writing so she spells things correctly.

We are military and bounce around a lot! I'm really amazed that the child has managed so well. She gets b's and c's for the most part with the occassional d and even f. We presently live in a very small town and my daughter attends HS in Swansboro, NC. I meet with her teachers at the beginning of every semester. I make sure they know what we are dealing with. That when she comes up and say's she just doesn't get it, she isn't. My child has been diagnoised extremely dyslexic and dysgraphic.

our main problem right now is a teacher that wants to speed thru class notes and refuses to slow down for the slower children in the class. I'm working with the counselor and the principle right now, who are working with me in regards to it. They are going back thru my daughter's school records for her diagnoises report to see if there can be an acception made to have the teacher give her the class notes. The biggest problem with the HS here is they have to push thru so much information in such a short time. When you have a child who can't simply look at the board and look in the book and know exactly where you are at immediately there is a problem and those kids are being left in the dust.

Of course here is the other part. Has anyone else had to endure the same thing I have, which is a teacher looking at you and saying, "Dysgraphia? I haven't heard of that"?
[Modified by: Vicki on September 12, 2008 07:44 AM]

[Modified by: Vicki on September 12, 2008 07:45 AM]

Back to top Profile Email
Joined May 13, 2008
Posts: 91

Other Topics
Posted:Sep 12, 2008 9:34:52 AM

The middle school counselor needs to follow through and make sure your son has accomodations for high school. Tell the middle school counselor to arrange for a 504 plan or IEP plan for next year so he can get the same accomodations in place.

Your son probably does have a 504 plan. You just didn't realize that he did. Get on the case of your counselor and make sure everything is set for next year.


Back to top Profile Email
Joined Sep 23, 2008
Posts: 4

Other Topics
Posted:Sep 23, 2008 1:01:46 AM

Yes, it is definately worth getting with your school and getting the IEP in place. This way, you can add the accommodations that are necessary for your child to be successful. Remember, you are the one that knows what is best for your child, and you have to go to bat for them. Sometimes (well mostly)it's like going to war to get things done for your child. So putting it in the IEP, assures that it will be there and continue with them.

Back to top Profile Email