School Accommodations

When children have been diagnosed with AD/HD, Dyslexia, Asperger’s Syndrome, and other conditions that affect the student’s ability to learn and/or show that s/he has learned a concept or subject, schools are required to give them certain accommodations. This will enable these students to succeed at school and is seen as their natural right.

There are two types of school accommodations:

  • Accommodations Made by School Management
  • Accommodations Made by Teachers  

Accommodations Made by School Management

The usual accommodations given to special needs students by school management are as follows; what each student gets depends on the particular needs of individual students:

  • Extra time for examinations and tests.
  • Separate room to take exams/tests.
  • Reader as an aid to read the material during exams.
  • Scribe as an aid to write the answers during exams.
  • Access to an assistant in the classroom and/or during breaks.
  • Access to an AD/HD coach in the school.
  • The opportunity to have remedial help if needed.
  • Permission to use a computer at school for written work.
  • Permission to use a computer to take tests/exams.

Usually, a special request has to be made to the school authorities to get permission for such accommodations. Parents should familiarize themselves with the specific procedure used in their child’s school to apply for special accommodations and to note the deadlines at the beginning of each term.  

Accommodations Made by Teachers

The accommodations made by teachers for students with AD/HD and related conditions are those that will make it possible for the students to learn from them. Most teachers want every student in their classroom to learn everything they teach, but some are not fully aware of the extent to which this might not be possible for a child with AD/HD to do this.

The accommodations we recommend here are those that have been tried out by teachers, teaching assistants, coaches, subject tutors, etc. in various countries in Europe and the US and have been found to be particularly effective. If you have some you would like to share with us, please contact us: info@adhd-edu.be; we are grateful for those who share strategies and techniques with us.

  • Classroom Environment

    • Place students with AD/HD, Dyslexia, etc. at front of class.
    • Have a student-friendly layout in classroom
    • Use cooperative learning groups, but do not insist that every child joins these. Some students may be only able to work alone.
    • Seat students in area free of distractions.
    • Use physical proximity to help student re-focus, for example: sitting beside his/her desk.
    • Allow students to choose where they sit if necessary.
    • Provide opportunities for movement as needed.
    • Check student’s journal and locker frequently.
    • Write homework as early as possible on whiteboard.
    • Send email to parents with homework assignments.
    • Write homework on a sticker and stick into journal.
    • Do not overload classroom with pictures, etc.
    • Have fidget toys and multisensory materials available in classroom.
    • Provide a quiet area for silent reading.
    • Follow a particular routine and if this must change, prepare the class for this well in advance if at all possible.
    • Have short work periods followed with breaks or change of task.
    • Provide clear rules and consistently enforce them.
    • Provide an established daily routine.
    • Assign a peer helper to read and check understanding of important directions and essential information.
    • Assign a peer tutor to record material dictated by student.
    • Provide a specific place for turning in completed assignments.
    • Check if each student has recorded the homework assignment correctly before leaving the classroom at the end of the school day.
    • Assign a peer tutor to help student pack the books and worksheets that need to be brought home each day.
  • Material & Presentation

    • Provide clear directions visually, orally and in writing.
    • Relate information to student’s own experience.
    • Break assignments into smaller segments.
    • Give examples of what is required for homework assignments.
    • Continually remind students to hand in homework.
    • Ask students who are forgetful to give you their homework.
    • Review every lesson a number of times before introducing a new one.
    • Provide end of week review session for the week’s work.
    • Allow for oral administration of tests/exams, etc.
    • Vary the method of presentation regularly.
    • Monitor the student’s comprehension of language used during instruction.
    • Monitor the student’s understanding of the material being taught.
    • Provide an overview of the lesson before beginning.
    • Provide partially-completed graphic organizers of lesson being taught before lesson, which students can use to take notes.
    • Make ample use of role-play and audiovisual tools to make lessons memorable.
    • Give students the opportunity to draw the main idea and make a class collage of result. (this will help them remember the material covered)
    • Allow students who are easily distracted to wear headphones during silent reading and tests.
    • Check on progress often in the first few minutes of work.
    • Increase the time allowed for completion of longer projects.
    • Decrease the amount of homework required as needed.
    • Set time limits for specific task completion (use a timer).
    • Monitor the rate at which material is presented.
    • Alternate quiet and active tasks, giving students who find it difficult to sit for longer periods to move around the classroom by helping you.
    • Give step-by-step instructions for longer assignments.
    • Allow students to use either cursive or manuscript as needed.
    • Set realistic expectations for neatness, allowing students to help you set these.
    • Provide copies of notes.
    • Reduce the amount of copying from text and whiteboard.
    • Accept key word responses instead of complete sentences.
    • Avoid pressures of speed and accuracy.
    • Highlight information to be learned.
    • Provide clear and well-thought-out worksheets.
    • Have individual students verbalize instructions before beginning assignment.
    • Give written directions as well as verbal, and add a visual component.
    • Build in a hands-on activity as much as possible – some children can only learn in this way.
    • Provide immediate reinforcers and feedback.
    • Make sure that the appropriate books and materials are open at the correct place.
    • Paraphrase information.
    • Avoid use of abstract language.
    • Familiarize students with any new vocabulary before beginning lesson.
    • Alert students’ attention before giving key information.
    • Demonstrate how new material relates to previously learned information.
    • Always use visual aids, such as pictures, graphs and charts.
    • Allow for spelling errors.
    • Provide differentiated instruction
    • Make a contract with students and provide awards upon completion of contract.
  • Behaviour Management

    • Provide clear and concise classroom expectations and consequences.
    • Consistently enforce rules.
    • Do not raise voice or argue; stay calm and reinforce as it is much more effective.
    • Avoid the use of confrontational techniques.
    • Provide students with alternatives.
    • Ignore attention-getting behaviour.
    • Find something to praise all children for every day.
    • Avoid criticizing students.
    • Avoid power struggles.
    • Use praise and positive reinforcement to encourage students to behave in the correct way.
    • Designate a “cooling off” station in the classroom.
    • Assign activities that require some movement.
    • Monitor levels of tolerance and be mindful of signs of frustration.
    • Communicate frequently with parents.
    • Speak privately to student about inappropriate behaviour.
    • Never label a child for his/her behaviour.

    End each day with “circle time” asking students to write down something negative that is bothering them on a piece of paper, squeeze it into a ball-like shape and throw it into the waste paper basket placed in the middle of the circle.

    Ask all students to shake hands with you and one another as they leave the classroom at the end of the school day.


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ADHD Europe asks for better provisions for Teenagers with ADHD who continue to need access to mental health services after they turn 18.
This must be a priority across Europe so please sign the Declaration:
DECLARATION HERE

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