This first part of the series on “What every 504 plan needs to include” addresses ADHD accommodations. The following parts will focus on anxiety and Dyslexia.
In this three-part series, we have included a quick reference for the top 504 accommodations for students with anxiety, ADHD or Dyslexia. A strong 504 can make all the difference in reducing anxiety for kids and parents alike.
Top Five ADHD Accommodations
1. Managing Impulsivity in the Classroom and Helping the Student Maintain Focus
Successful strategies should be included in the 504 or IEP to pass from grade to grade with the student. For example:
- Seating the student front and center, near the teacher, and away from distractions
- Using a private signal to remind the student to pay attention to key information
What is included in the 504 should be based on the experience of what works, and not just a generic list that is the same for all ADHD students in the school.
2. Completing Assignments
ADHD students need clear support and frequent check-ins to make sure their work has followed all the directions. For instance:
- Shortened work periods with breaks
- Chunking parts of an assignment into clear tasks
- Using a visual timer
These strategies and level of detail should be recorded in the 504.
3. Behavior Guidelines
Any ADHD 504 needs to include behavioral guidelines. For example, here are some helpful recommendations to include that can alleviate the majority of behavior issues:
- Discussing a behavior in private rather than calling the student out in front of the class
- Specifically stating that it is detrimental to punish students with ADHD by taking away breaks or recess
- Outlining behavior modification programs or contracts
- Ensuring the student has access to a fidget or frequent movement breaks
4. Keeping Track of Homework and Materials
This can be difficult for students with ADHD. A 504 should clearly state how the school plans to:
- Support a student in this area
- Foster increased independence over the course of the year(s) with the exact steps to take
Another problem parents experience is lack of communication about homework leads to difficulty with this at home. To ease homework battles, a 504 can include the use of a planner with teacher checks and parent feedback.
5. Specific Accommodations for Academic Subjects
Academic accommodations should be in a student’s 504. For example, writing accommodations that help students take the fear out of the writing process may include:
- Strategies to help the reluctant writer start getting ideas on to paper
- Extra time to complete writing assignments
Math is a subject that is often left out of 504 plans. For example, ADHD students benefit from:
- Not having to copy problems from the board
- Extended time on math tests
- Strategies on how to check over their work
Check out the ADDitude website for more specific accommodations.
In Understood.org website you can find sample ADHD 504 Templates that you can use as a reference.