Gifted Bulletin Board

Welcome to the Gifted Issues Discussion Forum.

We invite you to share your experiences and to post information about advocacy, research and other gifted education issues on this free public discussion forum.
CLICK HERE to Log In. Click here for the Board Rules.

Links
DITD Logo

Learn about the Davidson Academy’s online campus for profoundly gifted students living anywhere in the U.S.

The Davidson Institute for Talent Development is a national nonprofit dedicated to supporting profoundly gifted students through the following programs:

  • Davidson Fellows Scholarship
  • Davidson Young Scholars
  • Davidson Academy
  • THINK Summer Institute
  • DITD FaceBook   DITD Twitter   DITD YouTube
    The Davidson Institute is on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube!

    How gifted-friendly is
    your state?

    Subscribe to the Davidson Institute's eNews-Update

    Who's Online
    0 registered (), 0 Guests and 85 Spiders online.
    Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
    Newest Members
    SJ1, LAH33, velar, MercuryVenus, Emmy Mitchell
    11048 Registered Users
    October
    Su M Tu W Th F Sa
    1 2
    3 4 5 6 7 8 9
    10 11 12 13 14 15 16
    17 18 19 20 21 22 23
    24 25 26 27 28 29 30
    31
    Page 2 of 2 < 1 2
    Topic Options
    #213855 - 04/07/15 07:08 AM Re: Dropping a 504 [Re: syoblrig]
    knute974 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/22/09
    Posts: 683
    Loc: controlled chaos
    My DD sounds similar to your kid. She is dyslexic/dysgraphic and is getting As and Bs in her middle school gt program. Our middle school took the opposite approach with our DD. They encouraged us to add every accommodation that we thought DD would possibly need to her 504 and then use the time in middle school to tease out what works best for her. They know the high school and said that if we didn't get stuff in place at the middle school level it would be almost impossible to add anything new in high school.

    One caution re the "add everything" approach - We ran into a battling accommodations problem. When it came time for the dreaded PARCC testing to begin, DD wanted to stay in her regular classroom with her regular teacher to help her keep her anxiety under control. The admin people insisted that she had to go to a separate room to get the extra time and sit with some kids with truly challenging behavior. We ultimately dodged the bullet because extra time was built into the testing schedule so DD could stay in the regular class room.


    Top
    #213857 - 04/07/15 07:58 AM Re: Dropping a 504 [Re: syoblrig]
    polarbear Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/29/11
    Posts: 3363
    Originally Posted By: syoblrig
    Yes, school is wondering why we want a 504 when he's doing so well and he doesn't use many of the accommodations. I feel a little silly saying he needs something that he doesn't use.


    What accommodations does he have that he isn't using? Could you list them here? I'd also go through each of them with him to get an answer re why he isn't using them. There are several different reasons students don't use accommodations - with my ds we've run into each of these reasons:

    * He was uncomfortable using the accommodation because it was an obvious accommodation that peers weren't using

    * It wasn't convenient (or easy) to use - extended time on tests in high school, for instance, means he has to give up part of his lunch hour in some cases

    * He doesn't want to have to be in the position of needing the accommodation, therefore he doesn't use it

    * Teachers passively (or actively) discourage it or make it difficult to use

    * It's not the best solution for the thing we're attempting to accommodate for, so he has either worked out a better accommodation for himself or has given up

    * The actual accommodation is difficult to use (we're run into this with note-taking and voice-to-text apps)

    * He perceives it doesn't make a difference


    Quote:
    I thought there was some kind of use-it-or-lose-it rule? For instance, since he doesn't use extra time in the classroom, he's not allowed extra time on state testing.


    We don't have a "use-it-or-lose-it" rule here, but the intent is that the accommodations on the 504 are *needed* - which means that in most instances, they would be used in class. For state/standardized testing accommodations to be included you have to have proof that there is a need, and according to policy the same accommodations have to be *given* in class. This is technically different than being "used" in class. My ds has an extended time accommodation for all classroom and state testing as part of his 504 plan, which means he can use extended time on tests in the classroom when he needs to. He doesn't have to use it every time, and in fact, he rarely needs it in the classroom... because:

    As another poster pointed out above, there is often a large difference between classroom and state testing circumstances. Re dysgraphia, my ds always has the option of using his keyboard in the classroom on testing, but on state testing he can only keyboard on essay questions, which only appear on one type of writing assessment. So answering questions on state testing does take him longer when he's writing or circling an answer by hand. Classroom tests are also usually given with a larger time window for answering that state/standardized/high stakes testing -so although my ds doesn't use extended time frequently, he *is* one of the last kids in the class typically to turn in a test. This is something you might want to clarify with your ds or your teachers if you are truly considering dropping the extended time or if the school pushes you to drop it. If the school is pushing you to drop it, I'd request current testing showing that whatever testing data identifying the need initially has changed (example: relatively low processing speed score on WISC for writing, reading tests for dyslexia, discrepancy in scores for timed vs untimed achievement tests etc). If it hasn't changed, the need is still there. Also ask for a timed handwriting sample and compare # of letters per minute to grade-level peers.

    Quote:
    And unless he types EVERYTHING, he can't use a keyboard on state testing.


    Do you mean everything in the classroom or everything on the state testing? This really doesn't make sense, but from two different perspectives.

    First - if it means everything on the state testing, it's very normal to only allow keyboarding on essay questions. I've never heard of a student keyboarding fill-in-the-blanks or multiple choice answers on state testing.

    Second - if he's not keyboarding *everything* in the classroom, what is he keyboarding? It totally makes sense that he shouldn't have a keyboarding accommodation for state testing if he's using handwriting for essay questions in classwork, but you've stated that all of the students use keyboarding (one reason the school is saying he doesn't need a 504 accommodation for it). This is really circular logic that is missing the point - dysgraphic students need to keyboard to bypass all the issues with handwriting that prevent them from showing their full knowledge when using handwriting. They may be able to compose an essay, but their working memory will be taken up with the how-to of writing letters, and they won't have access to the wm needed for correct spelling, correct grammar, or adding the detail to their writing that they can add when using keyboarding or giving oral responses. I think it's really important that you obtain some samples of your ds' current work using handwriting vs oral response and vs keyboarding to get an idea of currently how much dysgraphia is impacting your ds. Also ask him to handwrite for you and see if it causes him wrist pain.

    Third question about keyboarding "everything" - if this is coming from the school, are they saying he needs to be keyboarding short answer questions too? My ds has an accommodation allowing him to keyboard anything and everything, but he typically does not keyboard "short" answers on science tests - things that are one-two sentences max and don't require open-ended creative writing.

    polarbear

    Top
    #213893 - 04/07/15 09:19 PM Re: Dropping a 504 [Re: polarbear]
    syoblrig Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/18/11
    Posts: 329
    Originally Posted By: polarbear

    What accommodations does he have that he isn't using? Could you list them here? I'd also go through each of them with him to get an answer re why he isn't using them. There are several different reasons students don't use accommodations - with my ds we've run into each of these reasons:


    PB, thanks for such a detailed response and ideas. My son has the same excuses you list, as to why he doesn't use his 504. In addition, he doesn't think it's fair that he would get extra time, and get to keyboard when other kids (who also want the time and keyboard) are not allowed. He would never do that to his friends, even if we explain why he should.

    The accommodations he doesn't use:
    - extra time. In fact, he is often the first one finished. When his reading teacher told me this at the beginning of the year, we each coached my son to take all the time given (not extra time) to make sure he was doing his best work. That did make a difference in his performance. Does he need the extended time on his 504? Apparently not at this point, but thanks to this thread, I realize we don't know whether he'll need it in the future.

    -- keyboarding all assignments and notes. Other kids are required to make class notes in composition notebooks. He won't keyboard when the other kids aren't allowed, even though he can't read his handwriting about half the time.

    -- the teacher is supposed to check with him to make sure he understands the assignment or test questions. This is on the 504, but left over from elementary school. I insisted on it because he often made math mistakes when he skipped over words in word problems. He doesn't use this, and would be mortified if a teacher checked his comprehension (and in fact, his reading comprehension is particularly high).

    Quote:
    For state/standardized testing accommodations to be included you have to have proof that there is a need, and according to policy the same accommodations have to be *given* in class. This is technically different than being "used" in class. My ds has an extended time accommodation for all classroom and state testing as part of his 504 plan, which means he can use extended time on tests in the classroom when he needs to. He doesn't have to use it every time, and in fact, he rarely needs it in the classroom


    This is an interesting distinction, and it's not the way I understand it. I'll have to check on it. Another problem with the way my son's school uses the extra time for state testing is that my son would have to go into a different room for testing, which he would be too embarrassed to do. All his friends would ask why he didn't take the test.. and then he'd say he did in a different room. I can see why that's uncomfortable for him.

    Quote:
    If the school is pushing you to drop it, I'd request current testing showing that whatever testing data identifying the need initially has changed (example: relatively low processing speed score on WISC for writing, reading tests for dyslexia, discrepancy in scores for timed vs untimed achievement tests etc). If it hasn't changed, the need is still there. Also ask for a timed handwriting sample and compare # of letters per minute to grade-level peers.


    Great idea. I've seen this mentioned before, and of course I should ask that they test to prove he doesn't need it.

    Quote:
    And unless he types EVERYTHING, he can't use a keyboard on state testing.

    Do you mean everything in the classroom or everything on the state testing? This really doesn't make sense, but from two different perspectives.


    I didn't mean to imply he had to keyboard multiple choice answers, although they are computerized. I was talking about writing prompts. And I was told that unless he always answers ALL writing prompts on the computer, he can't make an exception and keyboard the prompts during state tests.
    [/quote]

    Thank you soooo much for everyone's thoughts and ideas about how to handle this. I obviously don't know what high school challenges he will have and even though he's doing great in school now, I realize I do need to be prepared for the unexpected with his 504. I guess my strategy at our 504 meeting will be to tell them unless they have data to proof he no longer needs the accommodations, we'll keep them!

    Top
    #213900 - 04/08/15 07:42 AM Re: Dropping a 504 [Re: syoblrig]
    polarbear Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/29/11
    Posts: 3363
    Originally Posted By: syoblrig
    In addition, he doesn't think it's fair that he would get extra time, and get to keyboard when other kids (who also want the time and keyboard) are not allowed. He would never do that to his friends, even if we explain why he should.


    This is something that may change as he matures and also as the workload gets heavier at school.

    Quote:
    The accommodations he doesn't use:
    - extra time. In fact, he is often the first one finished. When his reading teacher told me this at the beginning of the year, we each coached my son to take all the time given (not extra time) to make sure he was doing his best work. That did make a difference in his performance. Does he need the extended time on his 504? Apparently not at this point, but thanks to this thread, I realize we don't know whether he'll need it in the future.


    If the school urges you to drop the extended time, in addition to the testing request I mentioned above, you can mention this as a data point - his performance improved when he took the extra time (even though it wasn't "extra" extra time). If the school responds with "all students would improve their scores if given extra time" respond "but not all students have a disability, this is not an issue of asking for extra time, it's an issue of giving a child with a disability a fair and equitable amount of time due to the disability."

    Quote:
    -- keyboarding all assignments and notes. Other kids are required to make class notes in composition notebooks. He won't keyboard when the other kids aren't allowed, even though he can't read his handwriting about half the time.


    Notetaking is something our ds still has issues with, and it's something we're still working with and urging our ds to use his accommodations for. While he may be coasting through school now able to use handwriting for his note taking, it's going to catch up with your ds at some point - because eventually the purpose of taking notes is to be able to *read* them and use them to study from or write a report from. In high school eventually one teacher somewhere (if not quite a few teachers) are most likely going to require that he turn notes in to be graded, and legibility will count then.

    I know it's tough to keyboard when other kids aren't. Our ds struggled with not wanting to because the other kids weren't keyboarding for several years. Middle school was ok for the most part because, like your ds' school, the students *all* keyboarded essays etc. Then when ds went to high school - very few students were using laptops etc in class plus he was surrounded by kids he didn't know - all of which made him retreat into that kid who didn't want to keyboard again. However... he had also matured into a student who wanted to keep up and do well, and by ninth grade he was really starting to understand what it meant to have dysgraphia, how it impacted him, etc... so there was a bit of a coming together of understanding on his part that changed his attitude about using the keyboard in class when no one else did, and he's gotten used to it and doesn't think twice about it anymore.

    Quote:
    -- the teacher is supposed to check with him to make sure he understands the assignment or test questions. This is on the 504, but left over from elementary school. I insisted on it because he often made math mistakes when he skipped over words in word problems. He doesn't use this, and would be mortified if a teacher checked his comprehension (and in fact, his reading comprehension is particularly high).


    Quote:
    For state/standardized testing accommodations to be included you have to have proof that there is a need, and according to policy the same accommodations have to be *given* in class. This is technically different than being "used" in class. My ds has an extended time accommodation for all classroom and state testing as part of his 504 plan, which means he can use extended time on tests in the classroom when he needs to. He doesn't have to use it every time, and in fact, he rarely needs it in the classroom


    I would let this accommodation drop, unless you feel he still needs it.

    Quote:
    Another problem with the way my son's school uses the extra time for state testing is that my son would have to go into a different room for testing, which he would be too embarrassed to do. All his friends would ask why he didn't take the test.. and then he'd say he did in a different room. I can see why that's uncomfortable for him.


    Do you know he'd be too uncomfortable with it? Has he tried it? My ds had to go into a different room in elementary school, but the other kids never made a big deal about it. DS just told them it's because he needs extra time and use of a laptop to write, which the other kids accepted because they knew he used the laptop in class. In middle school ds was given the choice of going to a separate room or staying with his class in the regular room and he sometimes chose the regular room, other times chose the separate room because it was quiet and had less distractions. Eventually he preferred going to the quiet room over staying with classmates. When he did stay with classmates, he went to another room to use his extended time. Anyway, it's possible if you asked your ds to give it a try one time, he'd find it's not as off-putting as he may think it will be.

    Quote:
    I didn't mean to imply he had to keyboard multiple choice answers, although they are computerized. I was talking about writing prompts. And I was told that unless he always answers ALL writing prompts on the computer, he can't make an exception and keyboard the prompts during state tests.


    By writing prompts I am guessing you mean essay type answers, which are a paragraph or longer. To be honest, I don't think this is an unreasonable expectation - if he's able to use handwriting to produce essays from writing prompts that meet grade-level expectations within the same amount of time as other students, that don't show impact from his disability (excessive spelling/grammar errors due to dysgraphia etc) and that *do* show the full extent of his knowledge (i.e., there is no discernable difference between his handwritten output, his typing output or his verbal output using the same type of question/prompt), then he doesn't need the accommodation for handwriting. HOWEVER... your ds seems to need the accommodation from what you've said, he's just not using it in all circumstances where he *does* need to use it. I'd turn this one around on the school and request that his teachers prompt him to use his keyboard for all writing prompts. We had to do this for a year with our ds in order to get him to be willing to take out his laptop when peers weren't using keyboarding. DS didn't like it at first, but it also was a bit of a relief to him to have the teacher tell him to use it - that felt less like he was doing something the other kids didn't "get" to do. And by the time he hit upper middle school and high school and had more complicated writing assignments being assigned, he was willing to use his keyboard and uses it now with not even thinking about it - which is important, because at this point, the work would be way too much without it.

    Quote:
    I guess my strategy at our 504 meeting will be to tell them unless they have data to proof he no longer needs the accommodations, we'll keep them!


    Great strategy! Although you can possibly drop the one mentioned above about teacher-check-in... so that gives you a small amount of "give" which is always nice to have something so that it doesn't appear you're just insisting on accommodations willy-nilly having given them any thought smile

    Another reason to keep the 504 that came to mind after I replied yesterday: in high school, teachers will be expecting your ds to advocate for himself. He will also be required to attend his 504 team meetings (at least that's what happens here), and he'll be the person answering the questions and telling the staff what he does and doesn't need included in it. Middle school isn't just a time for you to be sure the 504 is in order for high school, it's also the time where you need to start preparing your ds to eventually advocate for himself, and working now to help him understand where he does and doesn't need his accommodations is a big part of that. Once he's in high school, having the 504 will give him a backbone of support when he needs to advocate with a teacher who's not understanding why he needs an accommodation.

    Hope that makes sense!

    polarbear

    Top
    #214027 - 04/10/15 07:36 AM Re: Dropping a 504 [Re: syoblrig]
    syoblrig Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/18/11
    Posts: 329
    Thanks PB!

    Top
    Page 2 of 2 < 1 2


    Moderator:  M-Moderator 
    Recent Posts
    Renaissance STAR assessment
    by Yanaz
    10/20/21 10:07 PM
    His doc is shocked.
    by aeh
    10/20/21 01:45 PM
    New York City to Phase Out Its Gifted and Talented
    by Wren
    10/20/21 08:49 AM
    Acceleration in high school
    by aeh
    10/17/21 05:56 PM
    Girls and autism
    by indigo
    10/16/21 09:57 PM
    Davidson Institute Twitter