Classroom Accommodations: I have a... - CHADD's ADHD Pare...

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Classroom Accommodations


I have a daughter with ADHD who's going into the 3rd grade at a private Montessori school. She does not have an IEP. Does anyone know what types of accommodations are helpful for ADHD kids? And I'm unclear what a private school is required to offer in the way of accommodations? Thanks very much

9 Replies

I would suggest you speaking to the person in charge at the school about if their receive funding for 504 educational plan. It is my understanding that they do not have to follow the IEP, but that I'd they do receive funding they will be required to follow the 504 plan. If the do then your school district should be a le to help write a 504 plan.

Here are accommodations you could request:

Hope this helps, I think it is great you are starting young so she has the ability to use some of these tools.

Good luck

One good thing about the pandemic paycheck protection program offered by the federal government—many private schools took advantage of it!

My understanding is that if a private school takes any federal money (school lunch money, technology grants, etc.) they have to offer accommodations under section 504. Check with your state’s parent training center for more info:

My son was attended a Montessori School from primary through 7th grade. The School recommended evaluations and we had them done (privately), and those may have helped guide his teachers. The only accommodation I recall that was like those included in an IEP now is that he was allowed to listen to books on Audible, which helped him focus. Otherwise, the Montessori classroom already allowed accommodations he needed, like frequent breaks, freedom to move around, as much time as needed to complete a project, etc. My son’s work output didn’t seem to match what other kids were producing, but he got a great education in that environment, much of it I’m convinced, simply through osmosis because he was in such a rich learning environment. I will say that Upper Elementary became more challenging, and by Middle School he really wasn’t as independent as expected for that environment. It was not a completely smooth ride, but overall it was a very good experience. I am still amazed by what he learned, and retains, from his Montessori days. Wish you the best.

A private school isn’t required to make accommodations as public schools are. However, they are usually amenable to helping students, especially because their attendance and success at the school hinges on tuition. Sorry if that sounds cynical, but it’s true! You definitely can have meetings with teachers and anyone else who would have contact with your child during the day and discuss her needs. One thing our child’s private school does for her is have her test with small groups, and give her breaks. She has also had “lunch bunch” social interactions with a small group of other ADHD / spectrum kids and the availability of a “calming area” if she needs this during the day. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get any of this in writing, as we would if she went to a public school. And it has varied from year to year, depending on the teacher. Some teachers are much much better at accommodating than others in our experience. Good luck, it isn’t easy, but it’s worth advocating for our kids.

These responses all great food for thought. I appreciate all of your insights and feel fortunate to have joined the group and know that I'm not alone. Many thanks!!

We are at a private Montessori as well. We went to our local public school district for testing and they created an IEP, which we gave to my son’s school.

Our son’s Montessori school did not have the resources to handle our son’s issues nor did they seem to want to. They claimed to understand his anxiety, adhd, sensory issues and now high functioning autism. But they just beat him down constantly and lowered his self esteem until we left the school. And they claim that “he’s smart” and “he know what he’s doing.” When our new public school reaches out to them for evaluations they told them that our son was “manipulative” and the parents “just made excuses for him.” Be real selective of the school, ensure they have knowledge and know how to deal with your child’s issues, and understand they have no legal obligation to provide services for your child. There were no 504’s or IEP’s and they can kick you out at any time.

Hi MominOhio, my son has had diagnosed ADHD for almost 6 years (K-6) and doesn't have an IEP. We were able to forgo medicine in lieu of classroom accommodations. The ones that were most helpful were having him help the teacher out with chores/tasks so he could shift and get away from his seat and get up. This made a big difference in his day. Just being able to get up and move was huge.

My son was at a Montessori school and it was recommended for him to be evaluated and he was kicked out before he could even be evaluated. They are private and don’t have to accommodate special needs due to small class size etc. I pray you guys have better success then we did.

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