An IEP/504 Plan That Is Working

Following is an excerpt from a Mom sharing her successful school experience in developing an educational plan for her NLD child.

...I put together the areas I though most needed more accommodation and some suggestions. I met only with Karen the new psych. We added to the 504 all the things her teacher was currently doing that weren't specifically in the 504. Then we added some things as preparation for middle school. Then we got everyone else to sign it. But some of it still wasn't happening due to the fact that there was not a case manager and no one knew what steps to take when and how.

It was suggested that I also meet with the principal at the middle school who I worked with years ago and like. She was great. She outlined what she thought we should do which included: write a request for our child to be re-assessed for Special Ed; look at these specific teachers on the tour; come to parent orientation and open house etc.; then meet with the counselor. So we did all that.

Yesterday I met with the counselor. She was wonderful,. She happens to be ADHD and had to do many other things while talking to me but she stayed with me til we were done, an hour and a half! She read all my summaries and asked questions, made comments. I have a summary of my daughter's school history, a summary of assessments, who did them, when, the results and recommendations. I also have the letter for adults working with her.

Then she looked at the existing 504. We went through what was happening and what wasn't and she really pushed me to make sure we get what's in there. Then we went through and added lots of other accommodations for middle school including: an Alpha Smart and having her designated class recorder so kids won't think she's so different, a safe place/person for her to go to when overwhelmed, she wrote a note to the core teacher she recommended (the same one as the principal did) telling him about my child and asking when she could come and shadow a student for a day so she will be more comfortable with the transition, she also will put her in the regular PE class but with the teacher that the APE kids have so that she will get more focus and less competative games but will not have to be in APE with kids with much more severe physical and emotions issues.

We now have the above plus:

Provide two sets of books or materials that will be used regularly at school and home so that she can have a set each place.

Email homework assignments to parents.

Allow our child to Email her homework to the teachers.

Seat her at the front of the class, near the teacher and away from visual and auditory "clutter".

Have a consistent strategy to use when she can no longer cope due to overstimulation, frustration or confusion.

Provide a safe person or place for retreating, relaxing and regrouping.

Minimal homework except by special arrangement with parents.

Break down complex assignments into manageable segments and present them a few at a time.

Provide an individual class or group setting to learn and practice social skills.

Allow test taking in a quiet, low stress environment.

Direct frequent questions to help her attend better.

Use nonverbal cues (such as a touch on the shoulder) to refocus attention.

If in regular P.E. emphasize individual health/fitness curriculum rather than sports or competitive games.

Pair her with a "buddy" who can remind her of the "next step" if she forgets or gets confused.

Reduce quantity of written assignments

Accommodation for late assignments and tardies

I never thought we get to this place. Yahooo!

Katie Elliott-McCrea