Category Archives: ADHD @ School

Homework Accommodations Checklist

Use this checklist to determine which school accommodations would be best for your child. You can download and print the Word document here:Homework Accommodations Checklist

Homework AccommodationsHomework Accommodations

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Next Steps


1. You or other observers (family, teachers, etc.) suspect your child has a cognitive challenge.
2. You or other observers feel this cognitive challenge affects your child’s performance in school.
3. Document warning signs. Start compiling documents that substantiate poor grades, behavior, reports, and hurt feelings that follow your child home from school.
4. Research educational advocates. This can be an old teacher, a spouse, a friend or someone more formal that is hired to help you, depending how difficult the process is and whether or not you agree with the school’s recommendation.
5. Schedule a teacher meeting. Gather all the firsthand information you can while also building important and positive relationships with teachers, new and old.
6. Request an IEP meeting/evaluation. Options for the evaluation include a school assessment or seeking an independent evaluation with a neuropsychologist or other specialist to obtain their professional opinion and establish a formal diagnosis.
7. Meet with the IEP team to review the assessment results and other information.
o Gather all your supporting documents and consider bringing your educational advocate along.
o Research and develop a list of homework and classroom accommodations you feel will work for your child. Make copies of this list for each person attending the meeting and be prepared to draft these into the IEP with the team.
o Develop detailed goals with the school team.
8. If you disagree with the team’s conclusions and recommendations, options include requesting 504 accommodations, submitting a formal written request for an independent education evaluation (IEE; if not already conducted), and requesting mediation or a due process hearing (consider hiring a professional educational advocate).
9. Summarize the results. After agreeing upon and signing the IEP plan, summarize the results in a thank you note to each school official. This not only is a nice gesture that helps build a positive relationship with the school, but also acts as a reminder to school staff.
10. Track progress towards goals. Develop a plan with teachers regarding communication throughout the school year. Track your child’s progress and request adjustments if necessary.

Individualized Education Program (IEP) Facts

• The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA 2004) requires public school to provide special education services to all children with disabilities who are eligible to receive them in order to receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE).
• The IEP is a written document that annually specifies the services/accommodations that are calculated to allow your child to receive educational benefit. It must allow your child the opportunity to interact with like-age peers to the maximum extent appropriate.
• Local public school systems are responsible for providing special education to eligible children from ages 3 to 21 – even if it involves more than 12 years of instruction.
• In order for your child to have an IEP, he/she must be eligible. By federal law, a multidisciplinary team must determine that your child: (1) has a disability (2) requires special education and related services to benefit from the general education program. Thirteen disabilities qualify for services under the IDEA, including:
o Emotional Disability
o Intellectual Disability (formerly Mental Retardation)
o Specific Learning Disability
o Speech or Language Impairment
o Other Health Impairment (including AD/HD)
• If your child is struggling in school and you suspect a disability, request an evaluation from the school district’s special education coordinator or seek an independent evaluation. An IEP team that includes the parents must meet “in a timely manner” to review the referral and decide whether an evaluation should be conducted.
• The evaluation process includes the administration of assessments and testing, observations, and collection information from any available outside professionals as well as from parents.
• Timeline for school evaluations:
o 60 calendar days from date of written consent to complete all necessary evaluation.
o 30 calendar days from completion of evaluation for IEP team to meet
o Implement IEP as soon as possible after it is created
• Each IEP is created through a TEAM effort and reviewed at least once a year. A parent (or legal guardian) is included on the team and must sign a document permitting the IEP to be implemented.
• Reevaluations are required at least once every three years to determine continued eligibility and make appropriate adjustments. A reevaluation may also be requested if the IEP does not appear to be working (the request must be reviewed and approved by the team).
• IEP forms differ from state to state and sometimes from school to school. There are no federal regulations on how the IEP should look, though federal law requires that the IEP include present levels of educational performance, goals, and special education and related services.
• Additional information: “Special Education in Alabama: A Right Not a Favor” available at the Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program’s website (under the publications tab).

Homework Helpers

• Set up a certain time and area in which to do homework. Allow your child to have a say in where he or she does their homework. It is important for your child to feel comfortable. If your child gets distracted easily, make sure they end up in an area you are able to monitor when needed.

• Children who take medication for AD/HD may find that the medicine has worn off by the time they start their homework. Talk with your doctor to see if there are any other options (i.e. splitting the dose throughout the day, adding a short-acting dose in the afternoon).

• Form a launch pad close to the exit of your home. This can be a table or a cubby where your child prepares their completed homework for school the next day. Provide labels and checklists to ensure he or she does not forget anything. Children are more likely to forget something if they are scurrying around in the morning before leaving for school.

• The demands placed on your child may be higher than they are equipped to handle. Research online or ask a friend from another school what their child is doing for homework. Sometimes they may be given much more than they are capable of taking on. If you think so, carefully approach the subject with your child’s guidance counselor.

• Exercise! Exercise is proven to improve focus. If your child is struggling to stay focused during homework, do some jumping jacks together or have them take a break to play outside for a bit. This will increase blood flow to the brain and help them focus more when they return to their homework station. You can even educate your child by saying things like, “Did you know that exercises like jumping jacks can help your brain grow strong and help you stay awake during your homework? Let’s try it out!”

• Provide external reminders. It is natural for parents to want their children to be independent; however children with AD/HD or other cognitive challenges are unable to be as independent as we would like. Keep in mind that the part of their brain that reminds them of tasks or that organizes their thoughts is not like yours. Sometimes children need external cues to help them remember things and if so, you should be the support system that provides those cues. This does not mean you need to do everything for them all the time, but it does mean you may need to prompt them more times than you feel is necessary. Ultimately, the goal is to help them succeed in school which most times require a little help from mom and dad.

• Communicate with your teacher on ways to help your child remember their homework. Does she write it on the board? Does she email assignments to parents? Get the scoop on how your child’s teacher operates. It may be something as simple as your child writing assignments in a notebook and the teacher initialing beside it.

AD/HD Fact Sheet


• AD/HD is not just bad behavior. There is a chemical imbalance in the brain and/or other processing issues that impede those who have it from performing as well as peers who do not have AD/HD.
• Children with AD/HD aren’t always hyperactive.
• Children with AD/HD lack the ability to organize thoughts, which may look like rambling or trouble answering questions without pauses.
• Children with AD/HD sometimes hyper-focus on things around them, which may look like defiance by not listening to instruction or not paying attention.
• Children with AD/HD have most likely had difficulties with teachers or other persons of authority who may not have understood their challenges; thus, they can be sensitive and insecure.
• Children with AD/HD sometimes need direct instruction and lots of one-on-one attention. This may necessitate their being seated front and center.
• It can be helpful to allow children with AD/HD to move around a lot because it increases blood flow to the brain, which helps them focus.
• Children with AD/HD, overall, have poor executive functioning (i.e., brain functions that activate, organize, integrate, and manage other functions). Executive functions enable individuals to account for short and long term consequences of their actions and to plan for those results, allow individuals to make real time evaluations of their actions, and to make necessary adjustments if those actions are not achieving the desired result. Children with AD/HD often struggle in all of these areas.
• Children with AD/HD live in the here and now. It is very difficult for them to weigh options according to what will happen to them tomorrow or twenty years down the road.
• Children with AD/HD have different strengths and weaknesses.
• Children with AD/HD are often picked on because other children do not understand their challenges. It is important to try and not single out children with AD/HD as being different.

504 Accomodations


Examples of Possible
Accommodations or Interventions
for a Section 504 Plan

This form lists examples of accommodations or inter¬ventions that a school district might offer a student with a disability to help him/her achieve success in school. Every student has different needs and the plan should be customized to those needs. A profile of the needs should first be done, then prioritized. Even though some students may need more accom-modations/interventions than others, it is important for parents and educators to be realistic and not try to “fix” everything at once. Choose the most critical areas of concern and then target SEVERAL accom¬modations or interventions that can realistically be accomplished by the team of the parent, the teacher(s) and the student.
Areas of Concern:
Activating and getting started
Irritability, depressed mood, sensitive to criticism
Memory, recall
Motor activity
Academic skills
Sustaining attention and concentration
Sustaining effort
Organizing and planning

Accommodation by Teacher:
Physical Arrangement of Room-
Seating student near teacher
Standing near student when given directions or presenting lessons
Increasing the distance between the desks
Seating student near positive role model
Avoiding distracting stimuli (high traffic areas, windows, heating system

Additional accommodations:
Lesson Presentation-
Pairing students to check work
Writing key points on the board
Providing peer tutoring
Providing visual aids
Providing peer note taker
Making sure directions are understood
Break longer presentations into shorter segments
Providing written outline
Allowing student to tape record lesson
Having student review key points orally
Teaching through multi-sensory modes
Using computer-assisted instruction
Include a variety of activities in each lesson

Additional accommodations:
Giving extra time to complete tasks
Simplifying complex directions
Handing worksheets out one at a time
Reducing the reading level of the assignment
Providing study skills training/learning strategies
Allowing student to tape record assignments/homework
Shortening assignments; breaking work into smaller segments
Allowing typewritten or computer printed assign¬ments
Using self-monitoring devices
Reducing homework assignments
Not grading handwriting
Requiring fewer correct responses to achieve grade
Giving frequent shorter quizzes and avoiding long tests

Additional accommodations:
Test Taking-
Allowing open book exams
Giving exams orally
Giving take home tests
Allowing student to give test answers on tape recorder
Giving frequent short quizzes, not long exams
Allowing extra time for exams
Reading test items to student
Giving more objective items (fewer essay responses)

Additional accommodations:
Providing peer assistance with organizational skills
Providing student with extra set of books for home
Providing student with an assignment notebook
Providing rules and help with getting organized
Checking homework daily
Setting short-term goals for work completion
Assigning volunteer homework buddy
Sending daily/weekly progress reports home
Requesting parental help with organization
Supervising writing of homework assignments
Giving assignments one at a time

Additional accommodations:
Providing frequent, immediate, positive feedback
Using self-monitoring strategies
Contracting with student
Increasing the immediacy of rewards
Using “prudent” reprimands, avoiding lecturing
Using nonverbal cues to stay on task
Implementing a classroom behavior management system
Anticipate problems and use preventative strategies
Praising specific behaviors
Allowing legitimate opportunity to move
Giving extra rewards and privileges
Implementing time-out procedures
Allowing short breaks between assignments
Making student correct answers, not his mistakes
Ignoring minor inappropriate behaviors
Supervising during transition times

Additional accommodations:
Provide reassurance and encouragement
Speak softly in non-threatening manner if student is nervous
Focus on student’s talents and accomplishments
Make time to talk alone with student
Look for signs of stress build up and provide encouragement or reduced work load
Allow student an opportunity to “save face”
Give student choices
Train to control anger: encourage student to walk away; use calming strategies
Compliment positive behavior and work
Look for opportunity for student to display lead¬ership role in class
Send positive notes home
Reinforce frequently when student is frustrated
Use mild, consistent consequences

Additional accommodations:
Academic Skill-
If READING is weak: provide extra time; use “previewing” strategies; select text with less on a page; shorten amount of reading required; avoid oral reading
If ORAL EXPRESSION is weak: accept all oral responses; substitute display for oral report; encourage expression of new ideas; pick topics easy for student to talk about
If WRITTEN LANGUAGE is weak: accept non-written forms of reports; accept use of typewriter, tape recorder; do not assign large quantities of written work; test with multiple choice or fill-in blanks
If MATH is weak: allow use of calculator; use graph paper to space numbers; provide extra math time; provide immediate correctness feed¬back and instructions by modeling the correct computational procedure: teach the steps needed to solve a particular math problem; give clues to the process needed to solve problem; encourage use of “self-talk” to problem-solve.

Administered in school by:

Parent education re: AD/HD
Parent education re: behavior management
Provide positive reinforcement for points earned in behavior program at school
Write questions, concerns in assignment note¬book to communicate with teacher(s)
Community agency involvement
Break homework into smaller parts and provide frequent breaks
Communicate concerns to teacher(s)/ counselor
Inform teacher(s)/counselor of medication changes
Get feedback from teacher(s)/counselor to give physician for check-ups

Additional accommodations:
Special Considerations-
Monitor student closely on field trips
Inservice teacher(s) on child’s handicap
Provide social skills group experiences
Develop intervention strategies for transitional periods (i.e., cafeteria, recess, assemblies)
Alert school bus driver
Provide group/individual counseling re:

Additional accommodations:
Parent Involvement-
Initial assignment notebook daily/weekly
Provide daily rewards for bringing completed assignment notebook/progress note home
Call teacher(s) every for feedback
Call homework hotline for assignments
Supply school with medication and necessary medical forms
Parent support group (e.g., CHADD)

Participants Name:

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