School and classroom accommodations, that is. Considering that this is the beginning of the school year, many parents are still in IEP mode… attempting to get their child’s IEP’s set up for the year, and figuring out how the teacher and support staff will implement that IEP. From a homeschooling standpoint, parents just beginning a new school year are also doing something similar in their home. What it comes down to is this: How do we structure our child’s learning environment so that he or she will be able to gain as much as possible from it?
I have been researching ideas, and have come across some great resources. First, is the IEP Goals and Objectives Bank. Linked on the Bridges4Kids website in Michigan, this 147 page document will help you see what it is the evaluators will try to use to help your child succeed. “The original document is from the Bend-La Pine school district website in Redmond, Oregon, and was named RedmondGoalBank073003.pdf. However, the document is no longer available on their website.” I originally downloaded this bank of goals to help me create a home IEP for my son. (Update 2/24/10: The second site was taken down, and I do not have a way to locate it again. Sorry!)
Next, we have visual schedules. I have used this site for quite some time, actually. If you have a child whose language/speech skills are impaired, visual schedules can be helpful. If you have a child who has sequencing or follow-through problems, these schedules can help save your sanity. The visual schedule cards come in 2 sizes (2×2 and 1×1) and have general and completely broken down scenarios.
For example: One card may say “Get dressed” with a drawing of an outfit. For a child who needs the reminder that getting dressed comes next, this is good. If your child is like my son, who needs to know that underwear and socks go under the pants and shirt, then there are filler cards that say “Put on underwear” “put on socks” etc. There are step by step sets for brushing teeth, getting ready in the morning, getting ready for bed, etc.
There are also a good number that are specifically designed for school use. You can find these at Do2Learn. And to see how visual schedules are used in the classroom setting, this document about Visual Schedules will give you some great ideas. My son has one at school, with a velcro strip to hang the cards on, and an envelope to put them in as he completes a task.
If anyone out there knows of a great resource for IEP help or accommodations ideas, please post it! We seek to share information and help each other out here. I will add an Accommodations page fairly soon, to compile all of these ideas. 🙂