Keep a journal. Document all informal communication with your school system about accommodations for your ADHD child, including detailed notes of IEP meetings and phone calls.
Make copies. Use separate binders to store copies of daily notes written to and sent from any teacher, as well as for all classwork, homework, and tests that are sent home, especially anything you had to sign and return. Make weekly copies of your child's daily planner or communication notebook.
Follow up in writing. Requests for ADHD school accommodations should be sent in formal, signed letters or e-mails. Follow up every phone call and meeting with a written narrative. Document exactly what was said, by whom, and when regarding your child's IEP and/or 504 Plan.
Be professional. Be courteous and businesslike when writing to a professional at school. Think through what you want to say.
Stick to the facts. Keep your letter and e-mails short and to the point. When speaking with teachers, use index cards or notes to maintain focus.
Be fair. When writing to a teacher or school administrator, praise any positive aspects of your child's educational experience to lend validity to your concerns about the negative aspects.
Get formal confirmation receipts. Send every letter, document, and request three ways (return receipt post, e-mail, and fax). Staple the confirmation receipts to your copy of the original.
This article appears in the Winter 2011 issue of ADDitude.
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