Let’s talk for a few minutes about finding the right fit.
Let’s say you are going shopping for a new pair of jeans.
When you are looking for a good pair of jeans, you want them to fit just right.
You want the ones that aren’t so tight that you can’t move, but you don’t want them so loose that they fall off of you either!
When they feel good they last for a while.
Special Education Accommodations: Finding the Right Fit
There are over 500 special education accommodations that your child can possibly have. Fitting those accommodations to a student’s needs is a lot like finding a good pair of jeans.
Want One-On-One Expert Help?!
CHECK THIS OUT!
We need to be sure that whatever accommodations we choose to put in place, they are “just the right fit.”
Let’s look at a couple of different fictional scenarios.
The “Too Tight” Fit
We want the best for our children, so of course, we want them to have everything they need to be successful.
Sometimes, however, when we add too many accommodations, they restrict or hold our child back. Here is an example:
Anna, a fifth-grade student, can…
- Read a grade-level text
- Has good focus
- Works very slowly on math assignments
The team decided on these special education accommodations:
- Give Anna extended time
- Read text aloud to her.
- Small group testing.
When Anna took a benchmark math test, she became very frustrated by the text being read aloud to her and being in a small group. She started to rush through the test and failed.
This is an excellent example of accommodations being too restrictive the first time.
She did not need all of the accommodations she had in place. They were holding her back and causing undue stress and anxiety on her. The team met again and changed her accommodations.
On the next test, her only accommodation was extended time.
She tested in a regular classroom setting, read the text silently to herself, but had as much time as she needed.
Anna excelled on the test this time because her special education accommodations were “just the right” fit!
The “Too Loose” Fit
Then we have the other end of the spectrum where the special education accommodations aren’t restrictive enough for the child to flourish. This next example is about Mark.
Mark is a third-grader who is…
- Reading on a kindergarten level.
- Has difficulties with fine motor skills (handwriting and cutting).
- Been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
The IEP team at Mark’s school met and decided that he needed to be read aloud testing in a small group setting for math.
During his first benchmark assessment, Mark did not do as well as expected. He was…
- Very distracted by the other students in the room
- Could not focus on what was being read to him.
- Could not fill in the bubbles on the answer sheet due to his shaky hands.
The team quickly realized that Mark needed more restrictive accommodations.
They met again, changed his accommodations to…
- One-on-one testing in a separate room.
- Read aloud testing.
- Mark was allowed to mark his answers in the test book.
On his next test, Mark did much better! He was able to focus, listen to the test being read aloud, and mark his answers.
How do we get the “just right” fit with Special Education Accommodations?
The best way to make the best decision about accommodations is to know your child’s needs and advocate for them in the IEP meetings.
Also, I suggest lots of practice with different accommodations to be sure what the best fit would be for your child.
If you are having trouble finding the right accommodations, don’t give up! With a little time and patience, you will be able to see what works best for your child.
Need a little help with their education… we offer one-on-one special education tutoring that can be done from anywhere you are! Why? Because our special education experts conduct their sessions online!
Get started with a free consultation!