Sunday, August 24, 2014

What are Instructional Accommodations and how Can They Benefit A Child With ADHD?

    Every parent wants what's best for their child. So, if your child is diagnosed with ADHD there are things that can be done at school to help your child reach his/her full potential. These things are called, accommodations".  Accommodations are usually physical and/or environmental changes made in the classroom.  They are included in your child's Individualized Education Plan (IEP) ,504 plan or sometimes by special arrangement with the teacher. Accommodations address the lesson presentation style given by the teacher, the assignment structure, the classroom arrangement, and other factors that can be altered without lowering academic expectations or standards.  A student who receives accommodations still follows the same curriculum and meets the same standards as other students. As mentioned in my previous blog, ADHD Informational Blog-Part1 students who have ADHD usually have difficulty paying attention, staying organized, and/or sitting in class. Keep in mind that every student is different so each student will need different accommodations based on his or her individual needs or symptoms.Below, I've listed several classroom accommodations that are often used by teachers who have students with ADHD.
Instructional Accommodations:

  • Frequent breaks-Students with ADHD brains need time to rest and "recharge". .Since it takes more effort for a student with ADHD to remain focused, frequent breaks prevent fatigue.  When students are permitted to get up and move around, they will be more likely to be able to regain focus after the break.
  • Variation of Activities-  Changing pace allows students the opportunity to "switch gears". and keeps students from growing bored and restless.
  • Using a daily log or agenda book- Making the student responsible for recording assignments and homework on a daily basis not only reinforces organizational skills, but gives parents and guardians a way to keep track of their child's progress.
  • Give directions in short, sequential steps-Clear, concise directions are easier for students with ADHD to follow and process. Instructions offered both orally and visually are most effective. Visual directions give the student something to fall back on if they were unable to pay attention to the oral directions.
  • Seat the student near a student role model-This placement, allows the student a chance to work cooperatively and learn from peers in class.
  • Provide low-distraction work areas-If space permits,make available a quiet, distraction free area for quiet study time and test taking.
  • Keep noise level down, play soft music, or use a therapeutic noise machine.
  • Divide work into smaller chunks or units- "Chunking" work helps the student to not become overwhelmed by too much work at once. This allows the student to stay more easily focused on the smaller task placed before him/her.
  • Highlight key points- Highlight key words or points in the directions to help the child focus on what is important to success in the lesson.
  • Recorded books or e-books- These devices can stimulate interest in traditional reading and can be used to reinforce or compliment reading lessons.             

     I hope that this list of instructional accommodation suggestions gives ideas to parents and/or teachers who want to  ensure the most appropriate education to all children.