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    #215797 - 05/08/15 05:14 PM Re: Eval results - advice needed [Re: mom2one]
    eco21268 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/21/15
    Posts: 647
    I'm going to give feedback (even though I am really not qualified) based on having been both a classroom teacher and dealing with 504 issues this year.

    To be workable, the 504 accommodations should be ones that a teacher (not para) could be reasonably expected to follow while teaching the entire class.

    I think your best bet, if you want to ensure the 504 is implemented consistently, and that you can track it--would be to remove the accommodations that are more vague or TOO specific and about "classroom culture" and leave the ones that can be directly measured.

    e.g. "Provide reassurances and encouragement vs. correction and criticism at a rate of 4:1" I really like this one but it would be difficult for anyone to track it. I'm brainstorming here, but maybe there is a way to state it differently. Would there be a way to ask for redirection to be couched in a positive framework? Truly, I have no idea what that looks like on (504) paper. I don't know if you are allowed to provide examples. "I notice you are having trouble switching gears. I need your eyes here and your pencil here."

    How old is your child? There a couple other things I notice in this that I would want to address, and that also take some pressure off the classroom teacher. I would ask for X number of days (to include a weekend, if possible) to complete unfinished assignments, including homework. To me, 45 minutes is too much homework for a young child, especially one who has spent considerable energy keeping himself glued together all day in school.

    Also: I would not ask for daily behavioral report (but that is just me) but weekly. I am saying this not as a parent or teacher but as a counselor who has witnessed the anxiety these sorts of interventions produce in children. In a perfect world, a teacher would/could provide immediate feedback to a child but that is not how it plays out, and kids end up internalizing they are just "bad kids" or "bad students" without ever understanding exactly what it is they are failing to do. It's been *way* more effective for me to receive a weekly report and then translate for my son. YMMV

    I could say a lot more, here, but will leave it to more seasoned parents to comment.

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    #215923 - 05/11/15 12:15 AM Re: Eval results - advice needed [Re: mom2one]
    mom2one Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/29/12
    Posts: 128
    Thanks, eco,for the feedback.
    I changed the "Provide reassurances and encouragement vs. correction and criticism at a rate of 4:1", even though this is really what he needs.

    My child is almost 8, in 2nd grade. I am anticipating homework to be 45 minutes in third grade. Right now, we get it done in about an hour, sometimes less (for the entire week's worth of work).

    Quote:
    Also: I would not ask for daily behavioral report (but that is just me) but weekly. I am saying this not as a parent or teacher but as a counselor who has witnessed the anxiety these sorts of interventions produce in children. In a perfect world, a teacher would/could provide immediate feedback to a child but that is not how it plays out, and kids end up internalizing they are just "bad kids" or "bad students" without ever understanding exactly what it is they are failing to do. It's been *way* more effective for me to receive a weekly report and then translate for my son.


    I am not sure which is better. I thought having a daily report is helpful. However, I see this, ' ...without ever understanding exactly what it is they are failing to do. It's been *way* more effective for me to receive a weekly report and then translate for my son.' and it gives me pause.

    I am probably asking for a lot, but I have been told that we are given very little, when the meeting transpires, as far as accommodations go. In a weird way, this makes me ask for even more, just to see how much will actually be given.

    I am hoping others can provide feedback as well. I don't know what I would do without this board (I try and lurk as much as I can, during the workday).


    Edited by mom2one (05/11/15 12:17 AM)

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    #215924 - 05/11/15 03:14 AM Re: Eval results - advice needed [Re: mom2one]
    eco21268 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/21/15
    Posts: 647
    It might make sense to ask for a lot, going in, so there is room for discussion and compromise. I had a negative experience at last 504 where it seemed the agenda was to remove what were very simple accommodations--so you might have a point.

    I also think that it is nice to have a daily report, if it's done in the right spirit of helping the child. When we tried this, at age 8, it seemed like it was used as a vehicle for the teacher to get in all of her jabs and complaints--and it was also very public. I hope your son's teacher is more discrete and helpful.

    What I'm doing, currently, is trying to learn more about pragmatic language and being much more concrete and direct with my son re: school and the teacher's attitudes and perceptions. (That has nothing to do with your 504, but just something I wish I'd known a LONG time ago.) I've mostly avoided telling my son things having to do with the teachers' commentary, because so much of it was negative and unhelpful. I'm learning how to translate for my son and wish I'd known about "social communication" issues a long time ago. He is 12--we missed a lot of opportunities.

    If homework isn't causing a lot of stress and upset for your DS (and family), then no big deal. It's very overwhelming to have a child who struggles at school and then to have to continue that dynamic at home every night.

    When is the meeting?

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    #215925 - 05/11/15 03:15 AM Re: Eval results - advice needed [Re: mom2one]
    eco21268 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/21/15
    Posts: 647
    Originally Posted By: mom2one
    Thanks, eco,for the feedback.
    I changed the "Provide reassurances and encouragement vs. correction and criticism at a rate of 4:1", even though this is really what he needs.


    P.S. Yes, I know and understand. I hope there is a teacher for 3rd grade who is warm and accepting. We had fantastic teachers in elementary (except for 2nd grade) and it made all the difference in the world. Middle school has been a whole different ball of wax.

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    #215960 - 05/11/15 09:48 AM Re: Eval results - advice needed [Re: mom2one]
    mom2one Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/29/12
    Posts: 128
    Thanks, eco.

    Quote:
    What I'm doing, currently, is trying to learn more about pragmatic language and being much more concrete and direct with my son re: school and the teacher's attitudes and perceptions. (That has nothing to do with your 504, but just something I wish I'd known a LONG time ago.) I've mostly avoided telling my son things having to do with the teachers' commentary, because so much of it was negative and unhelpful. I'm learning how to translate for my son and wish I'd known about "social communication" issues a long time ago. He is 12--we missed a lot of opportunities.


    This is what I am hoping to do as well. I really worry a lot about this aspect. Right now, I think he is internalizing himself as a child who cannot satisfy his teacher no matter what. He is awesome at other places (his after-care, his after school enrichment activities) that it worries me sometimes.

    [quote[
    If homework isn't causing a lot of stress and upset for your DS (and family), then no big deal. It's very overwhelming to have a child who struggles at school and then to have to continue that dynamic at home every night. [/quote]

    Homework is mostly okay. I am always around the kitchen table where he does his homework. I think my presence, for some reason, enables him to focus and get it done in a reasonable amount of time.

    However, I hear horror stories about the volume and time expectations of homework in third grade (homework given on wednesday, due the next day. Apparently, this is the case pretty much through the week). I think the charm of homework will wear off pretty quickly, with my kid. So, perhaps, I should ask for extended homework time.

    Thank you again. Very helpful.

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    #216017 - 05/11/15 07:09 PM Re: Eval results - advice needed [Re: mom2one]
    aeh Online   content
    Member

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3806
    I would suggest that you group and prioritize the accommodations and services that you think will be most helpful to him, so that you have some negotiation room, and so that you know exactly where you can compromise.

    I would also agree that it is important for the team to design and present the accommodations in such a way that they are not overwhelming for the classroom teacher, who must implement them. Just as I advise teachers to give their students no more than six fundamental classroom rules, with more finely-spelled out examples grouped under them, I would be cautious about giving teachers more than about a half dozen major categories of accommodations. Practically speaking, it is highly unlikely that the teacher will be able to remember any more than that. This is also why I suggested grouping and organizing them into categories.

    For example, accommodations for:
    1. written output/handwriting (including extended time, reduced written requirements, items sufficient only to show mastery, supplementary oral assessment)
    2. executive functions/study skills (including supports for attention, initiation, organization, like cues to establish a listening set, priming the pump/oral pre-writing activities, breaking lengthy or complex assignments into intermediate benchmarks)
    3. emotional/behavioral regulation (including frequent, specific, and authentic praise and encouragement, positive reinforcement for successive approximations of desired behavior (shaping), explicit modeling of prosocial behaviors, cueing for taught strategies)

    You can still list the specific accommodations under the groups, but they should be easier to grasp and execute in a concerted fashion, if they are clustered.
    _________________________
    ...pronounced like the long vowel and first letter of the alphabet...

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    #216038 - 05/12/15 03:23 AM Re: Eval results - advice needed [Re: aeh]
    eco21268 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/21/15
    Posts: 647
    Originally Posted By: aeh

    3. emotional/behavioral regulation (including frequent, specific, and authentic praise and encouragement, positive reinforcement for successive approximations of desired behavior (shaping), explicit modeling of prosocial behaviors, cueing for taught strategies)

    You can still list the specific accommodations under the groups, but they should be easier to grasp and execute in a concerted fashion, if they are clustered.

    This is great info. aeh--are there any written resources of which you are aware that explain these interventions (particularly the emotional/behavioral) in layman's terms?

    These sound like good strategies for functional behavior at home, too.

    mom--I hope you have a good experience with your 504 meeting. Is it soon? I will be watching like a hawk. It sounds like our sons have similar characteristics.


    Edited by eco21268 (05/12/15 03:23 AM)
    Edit Reason: punctuation

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    #216056 - 05/12/15 07:29 AM Re: Eval results - advice needed [Re: mom2one]
    polarbear Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/29/11
    Posts: 3363
    This may sound like I'm circling back and revisiting something, but reading the latest responses about accommodations has me wondering about something in your OP:

    Quote:
    Writing, by far, is his weakest area, but he seems to be doing his best (his writing ideas are good, handwriting/organization of those ideas need a lot of improvement), and his teacher thinks he is fine.


    His teacher may think he's "fine" because he's in a class with a wide range of typically developing kids, not all HG/+ kids (I think... I can't remember if he's in a gifted program?).

    These are a few things I'd wonder about:

    Did the IEP eligibility eval include the TOWL (Test of Written Language)? If not, do you feel that the issues with organization/written expression were addressed in the 504? (I'm doubtful about this)

    Did your neuropsych report have any notes addressing handwriting? Was the difference in processing speed thought to be due to visual-motor challenge or fine motor - chances are the neuropsych included some additional tests to tease that out. This can make a difference in how you go about making handwriting accommodations. For instance, if your ds has a fine motor challenge (which won't necessarily show up on an OT eval as strictly that - his fine motor muscle ability may be *a-ok*, but his brain may not be able to manipulate fine motor actions in things like handwriting)... it's possible he needs to use keyboarding as an accommodation, not an accommodation such as a certain type of paper or a specific type of pencil grip etc.

    Did our school OT test the rate your ds writes at (not when he's having to think up what to write, but just straight handwriting where he knows what he's supposed to write)? If it's extremely slow relative to peers, I'd request that he start keyboarding work that requires writing (other than specific handwriting instruction).

    When is your 504 meeting?

    And are you convinced that a 504 is "enough"? Have you considered appealing the IEP eligibility decision?

    Hope your meeting goes well!

    polarbear

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    #216355 - 05/15/15 12:32 PM Re: Eval results - advice needed [Re: polarbear]
    mom2one Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/29/12
    Posts: 128
    We had our meeting earlier this week. This is what we got
    - Consultation with the school psych on an as-needed basis.
    - Access to fidgets (velcro under his desk, theraband on the legs of his chair etc)
    - Access to visual structure in areas of struggle (checklists, organizers, lined paper etc)
    - Reduced workload (both for assignments and homework). Focus shd be on quality not quantity.
    - Extended time on tests, quizzes, assignments etc. Not unlimited extended time.
    - break multi-step directions or multiple page worksheets into individual steps and not more than 2 pages at a time
    - Preferential seating. Should have the ability to stand at his desk and work.
    - Time-limited structured breaks as needed
    - Bins for materials, pens, papers, books etc

    Writing was discussed. Apparently he does very well writing if he sees that it matters. Else he just does not write as much.
    I am still thinking about this aspect.

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    #216359 - 05/15/15 01:32 PM Re: Eval results - advice needed [Re: mom2one]
    polarbear Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/29/11
    Posts: 3363
    Originally Posted By: mom2one

    Writing was discussed. Apparently he does very well writing if he sees that it matters. Else he just does not write as much.
    I am still thinking about this aspect.


    I would pay *really* close attention to the writing assignments and how well he does on them. It's possible he does well if he "sees that it matters" but that's also an easy place to put a reason without analyzing the issue. It's easy to fall into thinking not trying or not being motivated is the issue when what's up when really is something else entirely, such as he tires on long assignments, is overwhelmed by having to organize a paragraph, he doesn't understand how to summarize, etc. It's easy to say it's lack of motivation, because how exactly do you define what "lack of motivation" looks like? How do you define the product? Realistically, a lot of the output and outward appearance of kids who have genuine academic struggles and LDs can *look* like they are not trying or only produce good work when they are motivated or think it matters. Inconsistency is a hallmark of having an LD.

    OK, off my soapbox smile

    Otherwise it sounds like the meeting went well! Thanks for the update!

    Best wishes,

    polarbear

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