Eye exams are pretty routine throughout childhood. If you fail an eye exam, you get glasses. Nobody really thinks twice about it. You might suffer a few “four eyes” comments but I think kids with glasses are adorable. Glasses are a tool to improve vision.
Now imagine if your child has a learning disability or struggles to stay focused in class. You would want to provide the tools to access learning along with their peers. These are called accommodations. According to Understood.org accommodations remove barriers to learning. They don’t change what your child is learning but how they are learning it.
For example, if your child has trouble sitting still and focusing while the teacher is talking a stretchy band around the legs of their chair is an accommodation. They can kick the band to get the wiggles out in an unobtrusive way and the movement will help them maintain focus. This accommodation is a win for the entire class. It helps the student stay focused and reduces the disruptions for both the teacher and the classroom.
Before Pickles was diagnosed with ADHD I didn’t understand accommodations. I felt sorry for those kids who were asked to sit outside the group at carpet time in Kindergarten. I had no idea that their special cushion was giving them the sensory feedback their body needed. Now I know how to seek out the tools my kids need to excel. Here are a few things that have worked for us:
- gum (the old school bubble gum that makes them work really hard to chew)
- noise canceling headphones for testing
- preferential seating in the classroom
- squeezy balls
- a separate area for testing
- teacher redirects
In honor of ADHD awareness month, I’m participating in a fundraiser to purchase accommodations for Eureka School District. Please click here for more info.