When setting down at a parent-student conference with a parent, who announces on the spot that he or she was a student with a LD diagnosis or diagnosed with ADD or ADHD, should a member of the team ask if the parent needs any accommodations before continuing the meeting? I realize good faith efforts and accommodations should be a natural part of any team approach, but are there specific guidelines or procedures? Should the parent be asked if he/she would like a tape recording of the meeting or a family advocate present, or should the meeting continue and assume the parent will ask for accommodations if needed? Would someone from both sides of the table give me their opinions? I would appreciate hearing from a parent as well as other instructors.
I think that's a thoughtful question. If you haven't already, you may wish to post it on one of the teachers boards on LD online. My 2 cents in a situation like this would be for the people at the meeting to first acknowledge that the parent must understand exactly what their child is going through and letting them know they are a valuable part of the team. Then respectfully letting them know if they still experience difficulty with reading/attention problems, etc. that there are things available to all parents that might be helpful (tape recording meetings, names of advocates, additional meetings to answer any questions, etc) in order for them to participate fully in the meeting and then to let them determine what, if any, assistance they want or need.
I work in a school, so that's a school person's opinion.
As a parent, I think you'd be safe to assume that if a parent with ADD or an LD needs an accommodation to be able to participate in a meeting that they would request it. But if you saw a parent having trouble following what was going on, you might try to slow things down, give periodic recaps of what's going on, encourage questions, or ask a question that would elicit an answer that could clarify somethng the parent is looking confused about.
It's hard to know why someone would volunteer their medical diagnosis at the outset of a meeting, but I wouldn't assume from that that they were asking the school to provide them special accommodations.