Our School District was the worst ever with dealing with APD. It has taken all my strength at times to smile and try and educate the district staff. I tried to educate them the way they should have tried to educate my son. So here are the strategies we implemented:
- Be the first person to arrive and the last person to leave ALWAYS!
- Be on top of everything, bring in the last IEP with you to make sure nothing has slipped from their attention.
- Bring a copy of your (C)APD fact sheet about your child that you handed out to all of your child’s teachers on the first day of school about what works and what doesn’t with your child.
- As soon as everyone is present, ask them to keep their notebooks / folders closed or their electronic devices off and ask them if they even know what your child has.
- Ask them to tell you what a child with (C)APD experiences in school and at home with homework.
- (Ten plus years I would ask the above 2 questions and at minimum 3 people attending couldn’t tell me.)
- The above two questions will hopefully make them feel like they need to start paying attention.
- Hand out at every meeting what helps your child. Hand out copies of medical research validating your requests / accommodations.
- If you are utilizing outside school programs as almost all of us do, make sure they are aware and try and to get reimbursed for these costs and for your child to work on remediation during school hours if possible. I believe this depends on the state and the district but it typically takes two qualified doctors to write letters about how the remediation strategy is beneficial for your child.
- Digitally record all of your IEP meetings – make sure you give the advanced noticed required by law. You should be able to find this under your state’s legislative code under education and / or government meetings.
- Tell your child at home before attending the meeting to ADVOCATE for themselves with the their teacher(s) during the IEP meeting and not to worry about their teacher(s) liking them or hurting their feelings, that this is their job and essentially their IEP performance review.
- Make sure everyone knows that teachers who allowing bullying to occur in their classroom either by them or by other students will not be tolerated.
- At the end of the meeting make sure and ask them the schedule of the school board meetings and if they will be attending. Also ask them for ALL their contact information and that you would like to touch base for five minutes after two weeks to make sure they are not having any issues with the IEP.
Accommodations to request for your (C)APD child who struggles with reading and writing
- Your child should not be held back in every subject just because they struggle with reading and writing. Your child has the right to learn all subjects using a different learning method. Reading and writing can be worked on separately, but your child should never get marked down for incorrectly spelling in say a history paper, they should only be graded on the knowledge, not how it is conveyed.
- Get electronic textbooks, almost every textbook publisher has them and they are easy to get despite what the IEP team will try and tell you. Just go to the publisher’s website and find the representative for your district and contact them first, then contact your district.
- Get audio books for all other books. If the school doesn’t provide them bring in receipts and demand to be reimbursed. This will ensure they get them to your child the next time.
- Get a note taker for every class your child is struggling in if possible.
- Get digital devices to record classes.
- If your child fully understand and knows a concept / information ask for repetitive questions to stop. If fact try and get reduced work as much as possible as kids with processing disorders take so much longer to produce work, they will fall behind if they do not have this accommodation!
- Only allow verbal tests / homework for all subjects except spelling.
- Make them give your child someone to dictate to for all subjects if they won’t accept verbal work.
- Allow your child to use headphones in class to listen to and audio book or an electronic textbook or even music when it is work time for students.