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Should children have accommodations in a school setting?

I have heard some parents upset that students in their children's classrooms have special accommodations for things like ADHD or anxiety. Things like having extra time to transition between activities, the teacher checking the backpack each morning and afternoon, giving homework several weeks in advance to the parent to begin working on at home, more time for assignments, and extra warnings or alternatives to recess being taken away.

ADHD is the most common childhood disorder. Should accommodations be made if a child has this disorder? Is that enabling a child to not learn to function on their own? Do you think these accommodations are given out to easily or parents as for them too often?


Asked by Anonymous at 8:36 AM on Oct. 10, 2013 in Parenting Debate

This question is closed.
Answers (14)
  • Anyone who doesn't agree with accommodations being made for a child with ADHD hasn't dealt with a child like that personally. Not making accommodations is detrimental to the individual child and also to the rest of his classmates, who will benefit a calmer learning environment if classroom practices are tailored so that all of the children fit in well with the routines.

    Answer by Ballad at 11:57 AM on Oct. 10, 2013

  • I think it depends. I chose to homeschool my kids for many reasons, but one of which being their ADHD. The problem was that they *had* to be medicated in order to attend school, because the school was not willing to compromise on anything. I didn't want major exceptions made, just simple things like could you make sure he writes his homework down? But rather than make a huge stink at the school, I decided homeschooling was easier and better. I can tailor the learning to my kids, and while some may think I'm preventing them from functioning in "the real world", the truth is, I'm making sure they can. By tailoring their learning, I'm ensuring they actually LEARN. I'm also teaching them ways to deal with their ADHD so that when they are in a "real world" environment, they can make it work. Accommodations should be on an individual basis, not based on "oh, the kid has X." If he needs them, give them to him. If he doesn't, don't.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 9:22 AM on Oct. 10, 2013

  • Some parents (and actually some people regardless of age and subject), refuse to look at the bigger picture and realize that by making accommodations for a few that have special needs actually keeps the wheel turning consistently. In this case, if the kids getting special accommodations didn't get said accommodations, it may actually slow the whole class down and the kids wouldn't learn as much. Those parents would be pissed about that too. And just because someone has ADHD doesn't mean they aren't dealing with other issues as well. They could very well need those extra accommodations to be able to complete the work that is expected of them.


    Answer by QuinnMae at 9:38 AM on Oct. 10, 2013

  • Well if my child did not have accommodations for her learning disabilities, she would have failed out of school completely before she even reached middle school. The accommodations help her be the best she can be, but I make it clear to her that she must never use them as a crutch. That she must learn to do as much on her own as she can. She tries very hard, but there are areas where she does need extra help.

    People who don't understand these things are people who do not have a child with special needs. God help them if they do end up with a special needs child, because they will quickly be seen as the hypocrites they are.

    Answer by anime_mom619 at 10:37 AM on Oct. 10, 2013

  • it depends on the child and the level of special needs or help he/she truly needs. If we give all children even high functioning the same help as those who truly need extra-extra help then we are doing the HF child a disservice.

    Answer by luvmygrandgirl at 9:11 AM on Oct. 10, 2013

  • I'm actually kind of regretting answering this question since you asked anon. I don't understand why this question would require that you not identify yourself. I did not read the other question.

    I know people that have kids with special needs (ADD / OCD / NOS). Her daughter does not learn like the other kids in the class. She reads wonderfully, but she can't sequence worth a sh*t. You can give her three events from her favorite book and she can't put them in order. She is horrible at math. She gets a special accommodation on her state required test (she is not timed) because she has a horrible time with math. Just failing her and holding her back won't do her any favors and making the class learn at the speed of which she may need (without those accommodations) will result in less learned students total.

    What is YOUR solution?


    Answer by QuinnMae at 9:53 AM on Oct. 10, 2013

  • I'm glad for my son's school's willingness to make accommodations as we all teach him to learn to cope with his anxiety disorder. Without the accommodations, he would become too anxious which would devolve into defiance, and we simply cannot have that. All of us are working to teach him how to manage his anxiety before it begins or overwhelms him.

    He also has migraines, so he has accommodations for that. The goal is to keep him functioning in the learning environment, something else he has to learn to do so that he can function in the adult world.

    Answer by May-20 at 10:46 AM on Oct. 10, 2013

  • We actually discussed this with our sons principle. We asked them to stop giving him exceptions for everything. They aren't doing these kids any favors. What's going to happen when they have to join the real world like the rest of us, bosses aren't going to be like " oh you have add sure take a extra twenty minutes to make that burger because you can't focus". I will say some kids need it, a lot don't.

    Answer by funlovinlady at 8:41 AM on Oct. 10, 2013

  • QuinnMae, what about the parent who posted she is concerned her child will not learn how to complete things on their own. The idea that perhaps we do a disservice to children by allowing so many accommodations that when in other settings they can't function as well.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 9:46 AM on Oct. 10, 2013

  • QuinnMae, I actually agree with you. But I like to hear all sides. My son has accommodations through a 504. I do not tell friends but I did overhear some people we know about how this is such a ridiculous it is. His accommodations will be for his entire academic career. They of course will change as he gets older. He does have ADHD but he is not a behavioral issue. He has anxiety and trouble staying focused due to his brain is under-stimulated. It has nothing to do with the work load not being challenging and everything to do with that is how his ADHD body is. He also has some auditory issues. He is bright, his psychological assessment show he is above average in intelligence but it also show he has some areas where his disabilities impede his ability to function in his class setting. I am not upset there are those who think accommodations are absurd. Just interested in their thoughts.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 10:01 AM on Oct. 10, 2013