I asked some local parents in Arlington, VA to share IEP goals and accommodations they found to be most effective. Below is a list of ten that I think are most reasonable for teachers to implement. Of course, by law teachers are required to provide all the accommodations set forth in an IEP, but sadly this is not always the case. It’s important to note that each child with ADHD has different weaknesses and therefore different goals. For every weakness a child has, an IEP should have a corresponding “SMART” goal. Accommodations can be used in a 504 Plan or in an IEP (Individualized Education Plan).
10 Useful Classroom Accommodations/Goals
1. For distractibility, the teacher uses a private signal to cue the student to stay on task. Sometimes all a student needs is a subtle redirection…not “Joey, pay attention!!!”
2. For a child who can’t keep up with notes, the teacher provides notes. The student should still try to take notes, but will have a complete set given by the teacher in case they didn’t get it all.
3. The teacher checks with student for understanding. This doesn’t mean asking the child if they understand the assignment! Of course the student will say, “yes.” The teacher should ask the student to repeat what was asked to be certain the student knows the assignment.
4. For a self advocacy, the student will ask for help/clarification/direction when he doesn’t understand what is being asked within 2 minutes in 4 out of 5 opportunities with fading prompts. While I realize this is a hard goal to measure because the teacher won’t know when the student didn’t understand and didn’t ask, but it’s worth putting in the IEP.
5. For organization, the teacher should sign the child’s agenda or assignment notebook daily. Ideally, this book also serves as a communication tool for parents and teachers.
6. An IEP goal for organization, would be the student will accurately write assignment details in their agenda 80% of the time in 8 out of 10 assignments.
7. For behavior, the teacher can fill out a daily chart reflecting the student’s behavior at school that goes home. This chart ties into the parents behavior plan. This can be done discreetly between the student and teacher so they don’t feel self conscious. Good behavior at school translates to points on the “at home” chart and ultimately a reward. This also provides good communication between the teacher and parents.
8. For fidgeting, the teacher will allow a fidget toy to be used by the student during all classwork. Sometimes this might be gum. Sometimes this might be a sensory cushion. Each child seeks different sensory input.
9. For homework, the teacher modifies the amount of homework. A student can demonstrate understanding of a new math concept without doing 20 math problems. The student can do only the even-numbered problems.
10. For reading, many kids don’t have the attention or stamina to complete all the reading homework that is required (social studies, reading, science, etc…). At home, try buying audio books that accompany the print version. They hear the book while they are following it in print. Also, many textbooks have audio capability. Inquire if your school offers text books in audio.
Katherine Price coaches parents on everything from behavior modification plans to IEP goals. She helps parents figure out the services their child needs in school, helps draft accommodations and goals, and can attend 504/IEP meetings as an advocate. Katherine is also familiar with the local resources and can provide referrals to doctors, therapists, tutors, etc…. For more information about ADHDC, go to www.ADHDC.com