IEPs & 504 Plans

How to Get an IEP: Step 8 – Map Out ADHD Accommodations

What ADHD accommodations work best in an IEP or 504 Plan? The answer depends on your child’s specific symptoms of ADHD — and whether ADD means distractibility, test anxiety, forgotten homework, and/or something else. Consult this list of ADHD accommodations to get ideas for your upcoming IEP meeting.

Two schoolgirls with ADHD sitting at desk and laughing
Two schoolgirls sitting at desk and laughing

What ADHD Accommodations Should My Child’s IEP Include?

Each child with ADHD is unique, and symptoms often express themselves differently. Because of this, there are no “standard” ADHD accommodations. An IEP or a 504 Plan should be geared to your child alone; no two plans should be the same.

That said, here are some ideas to help you get started on preparing a list of accommodations to help your child hurdle ADHD symptoms in school. These are ideas that have worked for other parents and have been implemented by school districts. Use these ideas as a starting point and add others based on your child’s specific needs.

1. Seat your child with ADHD in the front row to minimize distractions.

[Free Download: 30 Great Accommodations for Children with ADHD]

2. Seat your child with ADHD away from doors and windows to help him focus.

3. Create a signal the teacher can use to get your child back on track (walking past the student’s desk and lightly tapping it)

4. Change the seats of children near your child as needed to minimize talking.

5. Receive daily report cards including notes on the subject matter that was covered in class, for review at night.

6. Use oral tests to determine knowledge of a subject.

7. Have the child take the test in the resource room or library where there are fewer distractions.

8. Allow your child extra time to complete tests (but not during recess or lunch).

9. Adapt tests to show knowledge instead of speed. For example, limit math questions to four questions, instead of 10, to show an understanding of the subject.

[Every 504 Plan Should Include These ADHD Accommodations]

10. Send home study guides several nights before the test for review.

11. Have your child complete seat work in the resource room or library.

12. Have uncompleted seat work sent home to be completed, with a note to the parent to let her know about the extra work. Grades should not be lowered for seat work handed in the next day.

13. Allow the student to work with a classroom buddy at times

14. Permit the student to play with small items, like fidget toys for classroom focus.

15. Have the teacher sign the assignment book each day to indicate that your child has the proper homework written down.

16. Have an extra set of books at home.

17. Use a website or homework hotline to list homework assignments, so that parents can check to see what should get done.

18. Allow for “bad” homework days. Children with ADHD often take longer to complete homework assignments. Add one or two extra days to complete homework, especially if parents have notified the teacher that the student spent time working on the assignment. If a teacher is notified that homework took several hours but still was not completed, adjustments should be discussed and allowed.

[Test Yourself: How Well Do You Know Special-Ed Law?]

19. Have parents check off homework that was completed to let the teacher know it was done, even if the student cannot find it to turn in.

20. Use a buddy system to help the student pack up at the end of the day and make sure he has all the materials and books he needs.

When coming up with ADHD accommodations for your child, think about which areas your child struggles with during school and the comments you have received from teachers throughout the years. Think about what strategies you use at home that are helpful to your child. This should give you some idea of what types of accommodations you should ask for during the meeting. Note: Most of the accommodations listed here do not cost the school money and are not difficult to implement.

How to Get an IEP for Your Child with ADHD

3 Comments & Reviews

  1. How do I support my 8 year-old, who has ADHD and is also gifted? So far, his grades are good but organization and focus are serious concerns. Any suggestions on supporting 2e kids?

    1. My son is also 2e, and I find it brutal. Teachers see how smart he is and decide that means he’s completely capable of the functioning aspects, which couldn’t be further from the truth.

      Here’s more on supporting 2e kids:

      And help with executive functioning deficits (the organization piece):

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

  2. As a teacher- #5 is incredibly time-consuming for us to complete. That doesn’t mean you can’t/shouldn’t request it, but if you do, be sure you’re using it!
    There are too many times things like this are put on IEPs/504s, we do that work to have it ignored and not used, which is very frustrating, especially for a teacher with ADHD like me who has to work *very* hard to remember to complete daily forms/emails like this.

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