Do your child’s IEP or 504 accommodations promote growth? Students with ADHD and other learning disabilities are normally provided accommodations such as extended time, providing notes or a note taker, and having a teacher check a student’s planner. In the blog post from ADDitudemag.org, Don’t Let Your Child Be Saddled with Band-Aid Accommodations educational consultant Scott Lutostanski discusses how such accommodations may not promote growth and self-reliance.
Lutostanski advocates replacing extended time with shortened assignments. At Bayhill we understand that students with ADHD expend a great deal of energy trying to stay focused and complete tasks at school. Exhausted by the time they get home, ADHD students can feel overwhelmed by the amount of work they still have to complete. In a way it’s like punishing a student for his or her disability. Neuro-typical peers may spend 1 hour on homework, while they spend 4. At Bayhill, we shorten and lessen assignments into more meaningful work. Our accommodations promote growth. ADHD students and those with learning differences can take shortened assignments. They can find success in planning and managing their time to complete the task.
Instead of just handing a child a page of notes, the article suggests providing guided notes. We employ cloze notes at Bayhill to promote the development of note taking skills. Students have much of the content provided, but need to follow the lecture in order to provide key words missing from the notes. This engages the students in the lecture without overwhelming them.
Lastly, Lutostanski recommends a homework checklist. In our Academic Support classes we teach students to use our Homework planner. They list the homework they have for the day, estimate the time they think it will take, and prioritize from hardest to easiest. It’s best to do what is hard first and save the easy for last. The Homework Planner is a growth-oriented accommodation that allows students to practice time management, prioritizing, and organization, while empowering them to grow toward independence.