School Accommodations Assistance in Arlington Heights, IL

School is a critical time in your child’s development, laying the foundation for their future academic and social success. For some children, however, such as those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other developmental disorders, the schooling environment can be challenging. Accommodations as part of individualized education plans (IEPs) or 504 plans, such as those set up by Dr. Laurie Philipps at NeuroHealth Arlington Heights, help ensure that your child receives the support they need to thrive. In this article, we explore the various strategies schools can implement throughout the different stages of your child’s schooling career.

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Preschool Accommodations

Image of 3 girls standing outside of school

Preschools can implement various strategies and school accommodations for children with different learning needs, such as:

  • A structured routine: A predictable daily routine provides a sense of security and stability for children with ASD. Visual schedules or picture cues can help neurodivergent children understand the sequence of activities throughout the day.
  • Visual aids: Picture cards, larger fonts, visual schedules, and social stories can help children understand and navigate social situations and daily routines more effectively.
  • Sensory support: Quiet spaces, sensory bins, and accommodations such as noise-canceling headphones, exercise bands, fidget toys, and weighted blankets can provide sensory support.
  • Frequent breaks: Regular breaks outside the classroom, whether it’s a quiet place to decompress or an area where your child can burn off some energy.
  • Individualized instruction: Personalized instruction techniques and one-on-one support can help children with ASD engage and learn effectively.
  • Behavior charts and reward systems: These systems provide positive reinforcement for good behavior.

Accommodations in Elementary School

Accommodations in elementary school are essential for supporting diverse student needs. Here are some common accommodations:

  • Personalized instruction: Extended time on assignments and tests, preferential seating, and alternative formats for presenting information.
  • Small groups: Small groups allow teachers to teach differently based on students’ abilities and learning styles, providing additional support to struggling students while challenging advanced learners.
  • Frequent breaks: School accommodations for autism include regular breaks during and after completing tasks. This allows kids to release excess energy so they return with renewed focus.
  • Visual supports: Visual aids such as charts, word webs, diagrams, and graphic organizers can help students understand and retain information.
  • Flexible seating: Flexible seating options, such as standing desks, bean bags, and floor cushions, can improve comfort and concentration, particularly for students with attention difficulties or sensory sensitivities.
  • Multisensory instruction: Incorporating hands-on activities, manipulatives, and interactive games accommodates diverse learning styles and strengthens understanding across subjects.

Accommodations in Middle School

Accommodations in middle school are essential for supporting students’ diverse needs during this transitional period. Here are some common middle school IEP accommodations:

  • Tailored instruction: The pace, content, and delivery of instruction can be adjusted to accommodate different learning styles and abilities.
  • Flexible scheduling: Learners might be given extra time to complete assignments, tests, and projects; for example, they might be allocated additional time for processing spoken information and directions or be allowed to take tests at a specific time of day.
  • Note-taking supports: Note-taking supports, such as guided notes, outlines, and graphic organizers, help students organize information and retain key concepts. In addition, learners who struggle with note-taking might be given access to lecture notes or recorded lectures.
  • Different environments: Students might be allowed to work or take their tests in a different environment, such as a quiet room with fewer distractions.
  • Assistive technology: Text-to-speech software, speech recognition software, and digital textbooks assist students with reading, writing, and comprehension difficulties.
  • Organizational support: Students can be encouraged to mark certain tasks with a highlighter pen, record and organize assignments in a planner, and use an alarm to help with time management.

Accommodations in High School

Accommodations in high school support students with diverse needs as they prepare for post-secondary education or the workforce. Here are some common 504 accommodations for high school students:

  • Extended time: Extra time for tests and exams allows students with learning disabilities, processing difficulties, and developmental disorders to demonstrate their knowledge without the added pressure of time constraints.
  • Alternative testing formats: Alternative testing formats, such as oral exams, portfolios, and project-based assessments, accommodate students who struggle with traditional written exams or standardized testing.
  • Accessible materials: Accessible materials in various formats, including digital textbooks, audiobooks, and larger print, help students with visual impairments and reading disabilities.
  • Assistive technology: Speech-to-text software, word prediction programs, and screen readers support students with reading and writing disabilities, dyslexia, and other learning disorders.
  • Transition planning: Collaborating with students, families, and specialists to develop transition plans helps students with special needs transition from high school to post-secondary education, vocational training, and employment.

Accommodations in College

Accommodations are essential for ensuring that college students with diverse needs can pursue higher education. Here are some common school accommodations implemented in colleges and universities for students with developmental disorders, anxiety, and other unique needs.

  • Extra time for exams: Providing extended time for assessments allows students with disabilities, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and processing difficulties to complete exams without being sidetracked by time pressure.
  • Alternative testing formats: Offering alternative testing formats, such as oral exams, take-home exams, and untimed exams, accommodate students who struggle with traditional written exams or standardized testing.
  • Note-taking assistance: Note-taking assistance, such as with specialized software, peer note-takers, and lecture recordings, helps students with learning disabilities, ADHD, and physical impairments capture important course content.
  • Accessible materials: Course materials in various formats, including digital textbooks, audiobooks, and braille.
  • Assistive technology: Text-to-speech software, screen readers, speech recognition software, and word prediction programs help students with a range of disabilities complete assignments, read materials, and participate in class discussions.
  • Flexible attendance policies: Flexible attendance policies accommodate students with chronic illnesses, disabilities, and other personal circumstances that affect their ability to attend class regularly.
  • Alternative assignments: Students can complete alternative assignments and projects rather than traditional tests, reflecting the fact that a diverse range of learning styles exists and allowing students to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in alternative ways.
  • Priority registration: Priority registration for students with disabilities ensures that they can access the courses and class schedules that best fit their needs, including scheduling preferences and accommodations.

Visit NeuroHealth Arlington Heights

Effective communication and collaboration between preschool teachers, families, and specialists such as pediatricians, therapists, and psychologists are essential for developing and implementing appropriate accommodations for children with diverse needs. If you need additional support for your child, contact NeuroHealth Arlington Heights. We can work with you and your child’s school to obtain and retain 504 school accommodation plans and IEPs in school settings.

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