Holly Graves & Associates,
Adapted from Kutscher, Martin L. MD. "Schoolwork and ADHD." pediatricneurology.com. 2002. Web. 2010 October 24.
Common Sense Accommodations
Any teacher can institute the following suggestions, even without formal student classification:
Parent and Educator Resource Guide to 504 Accommodations
U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, Parent and Educator Resource Guide to Section 504 in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools (December 2016)
Colorado Accommodations Manual
Colorado Accommodations Manual, published by Colorado Department of Education.
The ADHD eBook, by Martin L. Kutscher, M.D.
Difficulty delaying gratification _____
Emotional over-arousal _____
Non compliance _____
Social problems _____
This is your starting point. Not a typical child. This is what you can likely expect from him every day. Once teachers (and parents) accept this starting point (which I assure you the child does not exactly want, either), it is easier not to take everything so personally. Also, anger on the care-giver's part is reduced--since anger arises when there is greater discrepancy between what you expected versus what you got. The parents can also fill out the checklist, and discuss it with the teacher. They will realize that they are allies.
Provide help for deficits at the moment it is needed, not negative feedback when it is already too late. Unfortunately, the simple reality is that punishment does not usually teach the needed behaviors. This is because many children with ADHD have difficulty "doing what they know," not "knowing what to do." They already "know," for example, that they should come to class prepared. Once we understand that punishment has not been working, we are ready to provide relief for their disabilities by guiding them at the moment guidance is needed—rather than continued disbelief that they did it wrong again.
Recognize that disorganization is a major disability for almost everyone with ADHD. In fact, it is difficult to diagnose ADHD in the absence of organizational problems. Yes, ADHD students can--and frequently do--write a wonderful paper and then forget to hand it in. This striking unevenness in skills is what makes it a learning disability.
Ensure that parents and child all know the correct assignments. Yes, most students can take this responsibility upon themselves. Those with ADHD, though, usually cannot. It is unfair and counter-productive to let intelligent students flounder because of this disability. Once informed of the needed work, the child is still responsible to work (with his/her parents) to get it done. The following options can be used. This part will take work, especially to keep the system going:
Inform about typical routines (such as vocabulary quizzes on Fridays).
Hand out written assignments for the week; or,
Initial student's homework assignment pads after each period. Please do not expect the student to come up after class for the signature on their own. If they were organized enough to do that, we would not need to be doing this. And, yes, the typical student is organized enough to come to the teacher; but this is not the typical student.
Notify family immediately of any late assignments by one of following. Waiting for mid-term notices is too late to correct the problem, and too late for the student to behaviorally notice the connection between his/her performance and the consequences.
Allow for expedient make up of late or incorrectly done homework. If deduction for lateness actually works to correct the problem, then keep doing it; if not, recognize the problem as a currently uncorrectable disability. In such a case, the work does need to be completed, but is not fair for a persistent organizational disability to cause excessive and demoralizing deductions. If, for some reason, it is necessary to give an "F" for incomplete work, remember that an F is 65, not 0. Trying to get a decent grade while averaging in a "0" or two is virtually impossible. A grade of "0" is excessive and counter-productive.
Dysgraphia (hand writing problems)
Dyscalculia (math problems)
Holly Graves & Associates,