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School accomodations??


Forum: Children With ADHD

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  #1  
September 26th, 2011, 10:27 AM
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I'm working with a young lady in grade 7, who has ADHD. She has a 504, which gives her a lot of outs when it comes to school, apparently. I don't get it. I've been told that she can use a calculator if she needs it... supposedly she is entirely incapable of doing basic math (addition/subtraction/multiplication/division). She's failed math the last three years and had to do summer school for that subject every summer, and yet she's in 7th grade. Math aside, she also is apparently not required to do the basics in English?! Her class was given an assignment to write a 5 paragraph essay on a time they were successful, and yet her mother felt that it wasn't important that she be taught to take the thoughts that have been organized, and write an introduction and conclusion and THREE content paragraphs instead of five paragraphs that didn't even answer the prompt in the first place. AHHH!

Are these sorts of accommodations common in a 504? She's a smart kid, she's very capable of way more than I think she's ever been asked to give, and I don't want her to not do her best because she "doesn't have to"... these kids CAN succeed at least somewhat similarly to mainstream peers, right? I get that it might not be as organized/tidy or even as long as another student's work, but they should still be able to do basic math and basic English stuff... right? I mean, the stuff that concerns me is that she can barely do 4th grade level stuff, let alone 7th... So... yeah....
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  #2  
September 26th, 2011, 12:51 PM
who_it_is's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I generally only lurk here, but I was looking for some info on my son's new medication... And since we are in the same PR, I thought I would throw out my 2-cents.

My understanding is that a 504 is a plan of accommodations. For my son (a 4th grader) they have nothing to do with the academic expectations he has, but more about his way of working. So things like "will have a written copy of the daily schedule", "allowed to take frequent breaks and stand when necessary", "may use a stability seat as needed" are some of his accommodations. It doesn't have anything to do with his academic progress, but what the school/teachers can do to help ensure that he performs to the same level as the rest of the class. My DS is expected to perform at the same level as his classmates, or at least close to it. He has ADHD and a conduct disorder, but none of those impair his intelligence or his ability to learn, just how he processes things and that sometimes he needs more time/instruction/guidance/prodding to get the work done.

From About.com
Question: What is a 504 plan?
Answer: The "504" in "504 plan" refers to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act, which specifies that no one with a disability can be excluded from participating in federally funded programs or activities, including elementary, secondary or postsecondary schooling. "Disability" in this context refers to a "physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities." This can include physical impairments; illnesses or injuries; communicable diseases; chronic conditions like asthma, allergies and diabetes; and learning problems. A 504 plan spells out the modifications and accommodations that will be needed for these students to have an opportunity perform at the same level as their peers, and might include such things as wheelchair ramps, blood sugar monitoring, an extra set of textbooks, a peanut-free lunch environment, home instruction, or a tape recorder or keyboard for taking notes."



My understanding that things that make changes to the curriculum a child would need to have an IEP plan in place. This kind of plan could change the curriculum/learning requirements for a child do that they are workable for the child/condition.

My son can perform at or in many, many cases higher levels than his peers. He just has to be pushed a little more to do it and sometimes asked in a different way to get the information out.
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  #3  
September 26th, 2011, 03:52 PM
missy123's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Just like all children have different personalities all ADHD children have different learning skill sets. But honestly - none of what you are describing sounds even close to any kind of 504/IEP that my boys had. Sounds like a cop out on the parents part to get out of having to spend extra time with their children to help them learn. It almost angers me that they are taking advantage of the system. If their child really can not learn basic math skills by the 7th grade then maybe they belong in special education classes?

My oldest and youngest sons both have ADHD. My oldest took the slacker route and failed 2 grades in high school. I took him out and homeschooled him until he graduated. It wasn't that he couldn't do it but he took his ADD as an excuse to be lazy. He is now in college and has a job and does it all on his own My youngest is a smarty pants - He is high honor roll in high school and extremely responsible when it comes to his schoolwork but then at home we have the anger issues ect...

Have you spoken to the principle about this? My sons were allowed extra time on tests and extra bathroom breaks (to get up and walk around) at the Elementary level and I had almost daily communication with the teachers but other than that they were treated the same academically as everyone else.
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  #4  
September 26th, 2011, 05:02 PM
Mega Super Mommy
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I'm acting as a tutor of sorts-- I'm her homework help, because there's no one in her family who passed 8th grade to my knowledge. I don't know if I have the right to contact the principle or anyone else regarding her 504 or anything else, though I have to say it would be 1000x easier if her teachers sent me a write up (either daily or weekly) of her homework, lol. The child doesn't write down when anything is due!

When she does her math homework at home, we end up correcting it all the next day at my house, because about 90% of it is incorrect, and she didn't even understand what she was doing. When she does it at my house, it takes her 15-20 minutes maximum, usually only the first one or two have direct help, and that's WITHOUT a calculator. I told her last week I wasn't giving her a calculator when she has a brain (ie, calculator) and paper and pencil. Basic math doesn't require a calculator. That met with argument from her because her mom says that "if she needs a calculator she needs a calculator", but I feel the same way-- if she isn't able to do the math, then she either needs to be retained or she needs to be in a special ed class.

She is a super smart kid, but she's never had to put out her best efforts, I don't think. She's also never actually understood what she was doing in nearly all subject areas. But, I think you're right-- it's a cop out on the parents part. It's driving me crazy! I'm starting to get it through to her head that she is CAPABLE of much more than she's ever given, but it's a long process!
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  #5  
September 26th, 2011, 06:35 PM
AlexKatieAiden Mommy's Avatar Linda
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Wow I have never heard of a 504 having any kind of acedemic things like you are describing. Its usually behavioral things or accomidations so the child can be at the same level as their peers. I agree with others, if she can't do the work than she either needs to be held back or in special ed classes.
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  #6  
September 26th, 2011, 08:08 PM
mindy scott's Avatar I love being me :)
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504 plans are differant in ever school and every state. My DD's 504 plan they have went as far as setting it to where they read her her questions and allowed her to get up and wander a small area and where she didnt have to do as much work as others . I quickly put a stop to those . She can do the work she can read and if they allow her to get up and wonder she will abuse that privilage and not to mention be a distraction to the rest of the class. She needs help not an excuse .
One school "brushed" Emily and had her do exercises it made a huge differance in her . I go wednesday to her IEP meeting and going to suggest the brushing . I asked last yr but they didnt have a qualified person .
When I get home wednesday i will post as to what help she gets .
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  #7  
September 30th, 2011, 10:44 AM
missy123's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hiskid1324 View Post
I'm acting as a tutor of sorts-- I'm her homework help, because there's no one in her family who passed 8th grade to my knowledge. I don't know if I have the right to contact the principle or anyone else regarding her 504 or anything else, though I have to say it would be 1000x easier if her teachers sent me a write up (either daily or weekly) of her homework, lol. The child doesn't write down when anything is due!
Are you a professional tutor or someone that is acting in the tutor roll because you care about this child? If it is in the legal sense then you should have access to her teachers during the day.

My boys never wrote things down (still don't). What worked best for them was a clipboard and an accordion binder. All communication to and from school including homework went on the clipboard. All other papers/assignments went into the binder. This way there was onlly 2 things they really had to deal with. The top page of the clipboard was a weekly calendar where the teachers would write notes/assignments into. As soon as they got home I would look at it and know at a glance what kind of day they had and what assignments they needed to do. It was so awesome and my youngest still uses the clipboard system on his own to this day.

It sounds like you are an awesome person - (((huge hugs))) You are making a difference in this child's life and even possibly setting her up for success later on where she wouldn't have a chance otherwise.
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  #8  
September 30th, 2011, 06:31 PM
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My 13 yrear old has a 504 and basically you as a parent and the teachers can put whatever you want in it.
Tyler has pretty simple things:
allowing him to go back to his locker to get an assignment
if his work is late he gets an extra day
big projects teachers need to check in on him and have repeat directions
no sitting by the door or windows in the classroom
if need be, having a test read TO him
taking tests in a quiet place by himself
simple things like that. The teachers actually wanted to add more stuff like only doing half the work the other kids do, I said no, there is no reason he can't do the same amount, just may need some more time.
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  #9  
September 30th, 2011, 08:20 PM
Mega Super Mommy
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I am not a professional tutor (I think I actually have to have some sort of license in this state to be able to be a *professional* one). I don't get paid in any way, I am just sick and tired of seeing this child fail, so I actually asked them to let me help her this year. She's already doing way better than she ever has, I believe. I haven't seen report card results yet, but she's actually completing math without my help (in less than 30 mins now as opposed to 60+ three weeks ago) and coming home telling me how to do the math instead of having NO CLUE what in the world she's doing. She had a project due today that she was thrilled to be able to not only turn in on time, but turn it in a day early! She's starting to take pride in her work, I think, and I think she enjoys having someone interested in seeing her do better than she's ever been expected to, strangely enough, lol. She is a SUPER smart kid.

She's never had to reach her full potential, and I don't just let her off the hook here. Example, her science teacher assigned something that had three options (worth different point values) and I told her which one she was going to do-- the one with the highest potential point value, of course, lol. She did it, no problem. Had she done it at home, she would have done the lowest score option. Things like that. She had never completed extra credit work before two weeks ago either... which when you tend to fail classes, imo, you can't afford NOT to get some extra credit, especially when it's not just easy, but FUN stuff to complete such as solving crosswords and decoding messages!

This clip board system sounds interesting-- did the teachers write things down on it, or did your child? She has a school agenda, and she is *STARTING* to write things down in it. I've reminded her every afternoon when she arrives (because I ask if she wrote anything down) and when she's leaving (just to remind her to write homework down!). She actually surprised me and remembered to find her teacher to find out the due date on an assignment too. It just takes a LOT of reminding to get results. Oh, she's also starting to write down due dates on the assignment sheet if they're given some sort of rubric for their assignment or whatever, which is GREAT! That way we KNOW what the date is, even if we forget which paper goes with what is written in the agenda, lol.
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