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October 2009                Accomodations & Modifications on the I.E.P.
In This Issue
Accomodations vs. Modifications
Ideas for Accomodations
Homework Help
Client Feedback
Events and Meetings
Join Our Mailing List
Forward to a Friend
Quick Links
Hello everyone,
It is so important to begin the school year on the right footing. It is the season of the I.E.P. This document is critical to your children's education and their future opportunities. This is a document that requests your involvement so do not take your responsibility lightly.

I am available to review your child's I.E.P. with you and discuss any questions you may have. Upon request, I will arrange to attend the school meetings with you.
Ann Imrie-Howlett
Students First Educational Coaching and Tutoring
(905) 823-7215

Accommodations versus Modifications
The I.E.P.'s are an educational road map for your child.  The goals set out on these documents are to be followed so don't ever hestitate to hold the school personnel accountable.  There are two ways educators may offer to assist your child: one way is through accommodations, the other through modifications.

Accommodations "level the playing field"; they provide equal access to instruction and assessment for students with any type of disability including learning disabilities and ADHD.  We are familiar with accommodations for the physical challenges of every day life by using eye glasses, wheelchairs, crutches, hearing aids etc.  Accommodations for learning disabilities and ADHD work in exactly the same manner.  These devices in no way change the curriculum but in the same way that a child may not be able to see to read book without glasses, a learning disabled child may not be able to write without a computer.  Examples of appropriate accommodations for learning disabled, ADHD students include things like the teacher checking that instructions are understood, reading questions aloud on tests, using larger bubbles on answer sheets so poorer writers can fit in their text.  In other circumstances, accommodations might be using a calculator if the math computation is not the target skill being marked.  Graph paper helps students track numbers in rows with ease, ending computational errors made when dividing or multiplying by double digits.  Reducing the work load, providing notes for students with working memory disabilities who are unable to make notes, allowing more time on tests for those with processing speed issues, using the computer, marking in work books instead of copying to notebooks, doing every other question are just a few sample accommodations.

Teachers have to reflect upon the target skills they are teaching and be certain that the student is performing those without compromise. ACCOMMODATIONS ALWAYS ENABLE THE STUDENT TO HAVE EQUAL ACCESS TO THE STANDARD ACADEMIC PROGRAM.  Accommodations are not always enough for somestudents to experience success.

Without academic success self-esteem begins to suffer.  Curriculum modifications will then be introduced so that your child will experience academic success.  ALWAYS CONSIDER THE LONG TERM IMPACT FOR YOUR CHILD.  WHAT DOORS WILL CLOSE?  WHAT WILL THIS MEAN FOR THEIR LIFE?

Modifications change, lower or reduce the learning expectations.  Unlike accommodations, the consistent use of modifications can increase the gap between the achievement of students with disabilities and the grade level expectations.  This may have a negative impact upon the student's educational career as the student may not be able to continue to progress to a regular academic secondary school.  Ask what specific grade levels your child is functioning at.  They may be in grade 7 and receiving A and B marks but if that is on a modified curriculum and they are working at a grade 4 level in language, they will not do well in a regular high school, even at an applied level.  You need to be aware of your child's strengths and the program that the educational system is providing for your child. Teachers are all doing the very best that they are able to do but they have many student needs to consider.
WHAT DO YOU WANT FOR YOUR CHILD?  You are your child's best advocate and therefore must keep yourself involved, aware and informed.
Ideas for Accommodations

I have posted in Ann's Corner of my website an ARTICLE that provides a chart full of ideas for accomodations that might be useful during an IEP converence with the school.
Tips to Help Stop Your Child Rushing Through
Their Homework

Does your child rush through their homework, just to get it finished? Here are a few suggestions to help:

Discuss the expectations before they start their homework. For each assignment, jot down 2-3 requirements on a post-it-note and place it on the desk or table next to your child. For example, on a writing assignment, you may list, "proper heading, remember hamburger structure for paragraphs, and complete sentences.

Set up the daily homework time.  This is critical to establish whether or not they have homework.  They must spend a minimum of time on academic related tasks.  A rule of thumb is about 10 minutes a grade to a maximum of 45 minutes.

Use praise the right way.  Recognize good effort whenever possible.  Rewards and praise will result in positive changes faster than punitive or harsh words.

More homework tips.

Client Feedback

"I found Ann through the LDAO (Learning Disabilities Assoc. of Ont.) who assured me she "knew her stuff". I can confidently say that Ann does way more than that. She endeavors to get inside each student's head to help decode how her students uniquely process information.   Ann has helped me to understand my child better. She has advocated on our behalf with the school & teachers to help create an easier learning environment for my son.   My son also loves going to Ann's tutoring sessions (a child who likes tutoring?!?). He knows she will be firm when needed, give a hug when necessary but also complete tasks with a smile and a laugh. My son's grades have improved but more importantly his self esteem has risen and I attribute that largely to Ann. She would not allow my son to say he couldn't but has taught him to say "I'll try that" and given him the tools and the confidence to do so, which is a fabulous attitude in life.
Thanks Ann!"
Events and Meetings

8th Annual Learning Disabilities and AD(H)D Resource Fair and Speakers Corner
Host:  Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario
Date: Thursday, November 12, 2009
Time: 12 noon to 8 pm
Location: Mississauga Convention Centre
Address: 75 Derry Road West, Mississauga, ON
Cost: Members receive 2 complimentary entrance passes,
Non-members: $20-25
ADDressing ADDult ADD
This is a facilitated monthly support group organized by and for adults with ADHD. It is an ADHD-friendly opportunity to share stories, experiences and coping strategies with others.
Dates: Every third Wednesday of the month
Time:  7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Place:  Glen Abbey United Church
1469 Nottinghill Gate, Oakville, ON

For more information contact:
"ADDressing ADDult ADD" []
PASS - Parent Advocates 4 Struggling Students
This is a group in Burlington who serve Halton and Peel Regions. There are monthly meetings with guest speakers as well as an informative web site.
They support the parents of children whose academic results are not consistent with their potential.
Students First Educational Coaching and Tutoring | 1693 Wedmore Way | Mississauga | ON | L5J 2J7 | Canada