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269 Maple Ave Oradell NJ 07649 US

Offering Diagnostic Educational Evaluations

My Blog


Study Guides Level the Playing Field for Students with ADHD and dyslexia

Posted on 19 May, 2013 at 21:51 Comments comments (63)
Students who have difficulty in school benefit from completed study guides for tests and quizzes.  Whether the student has dyslexia or ADHD, a completed study guide can help.  For the dyslexic student, taking accurate notes is a challenge.  First of all, they have to retain the auditory information long enough to write it down.  Then they have to write it fast enough to ensure they don't miss additional information from the teacher.  We know that dyslexic students have difficulty writing quickly.  We also know that students with ADHD have difficulty maintaining their attention for long periods of time on topics that do not interest them.  Without the ability to focus, some information gets lost.  The ADHD student is usually disorganized.  His notes are not legible and therefore cannot be used to study for a test.  Does that mean that students with ADHD and dyslexia deserve to fail.  Absolutely not!  Without completed study guides, these students are at a disadvantage.  Providing completed study guides for these students levels the playing field.  Completed study guides provide them the opportunity to be successful.  However, study guides are often given to students the day before the test.  Study guides are often fill-in-the-blank worksheets.  This is problematic.  If the study guide is given to the student the night before the test...and they have to fill in the blanks...and the answers are not corrected...the study guide does not serve its purpose.  These students will spend hours to complete the worksheets and never know if their answers are correct.  If that is what they use to study, they may be studying incorrect answers.  Some teachers say that they do not want to give a 'completed' study guide because it isn't fair.  Well, having dyslexia and/or ADHD isn't fair either.  It is not up to the teacher to decide if a completed study guide is fair.  If the IEP Team or the 504 Team decides that it is an appropriate accommodation for the student, then it must be provided to the student.  The teacher that thinks a completed study guide isn't fair, should try to grade tests...without an answer the middle of a crowded, noisy restaurant...with a patch over one eye.

Frustrated with general ed teachers

Posted on 18 April, 2013 at 12:16 Comments comments (59)
As more and more students with learning disabilities are placed in general education classes, general education teachers need to learn the difference between accommodations and modifications.  This is especially true for middle school and high school students.  In core subjects, there is often an in-class special education teacher present.  Not only does this benefit the students, but also the general education teacher....and it is not only because there is an extra teacher.  The special education teacher actually teaches the general education teacher (when they are willing to learn) about the types of modifications that students benefit from.  In those core classes, such as Language Arts and Math, the general education teachers are become well versed in making appropriate modifications.  Tests are modified, alternate assignments are provided, and the students have access to accurate notes.  The problem, however, is with general education teachers who teach classes that never offer in-class support.  These teachers have not learned appropriate modifications.  They assume that moving a child's seat to the front of the room is a modification.  That is an accommodation!  They assume that using an FM system for a hearing impaired students is a modification.  That is an accommodation as well!  These are the Health teachers; the computer teachers, the Spanish teachers., etc.  So it is not surprising that students with learning disabilities struggle the most in these classes.  This does not make any sense to me.  If a student can have a modified test in Math class...then why can't she have a modified test in Health class.  I do not feel that these classes need a special education teacher present.  In my opinion, these general education teachers need to be willing to modify.  They must adhere to all of the modifications outlined in a child's IEP...not just the accommodations.  They must make two tests.  They must give student's access to accurate notes. They should refrain from 'pop quizzes'.  They must offer alternate means for assessing a student's knowledge.  They must take the time to ensure that the answers on the student's study guides are accurate.  If not...districts are going to have to place special education teachers in these classes and that is not cost effective, nor is it necessary.  In my opinion, some training in this area is imperative.   If special education students are in the general education classroom, the general education teacher must understand the child's disability and what modifications need to be made.  It cannot be up to the parent nor the student to beg for these modifications...because that can often have an adverse effect on the relationship between the teacher and the student.  Call Learn2Love*Love2Learn to teach general education teachers the difference between modifications and accommodations!