So far I’ve shared with you four great books that I have found to be excellent references while on our dyslexia adventure. I’ve also shared with you twelve of the modifications and accommodations we have implemented for Anthony at school. Getting these accommodations were far from easy.
All of my perspective, pointers and tips shared here come from a mom in the public school system in Texas. I know things can be different in each state. I share these things because I know some of this information can be really hard to obtain. It seems like you have to ask the right questions to get good guidance. I know there are parents out there who have no idea where to turn. I want to help in any way I can.
When you’re ready to ask for accommodations for your child, I suggest you hold a meeting. But before holding this meeting you need to be organized and prepared.
Make a Binder
When your child is given any diagnosis at school for any learning difference, or when you’re struggling with behavior issues at school, or if you are having issues with communication with a teacher or group of teachers, the first thing I suggest you do is make a binder.
I have placed dividers in my binder with specific sections. Modify according to your needs, but here is a peak at what my binder looks like.
Parent Teacher Conferences– this is where I store copies of all of our parent teacher conference documentation. You need to keep these in order to reference them in the future.
504 Related Documents– once you are given a dyslexia diagnosis, your student is now protected under something called Section 504 (also known as the Rehabilitation Act of 1973). This is a statute that is enacted by the United States Congress. Make a section in your book for all related paperwork- this is a key section. I will tell you more about 504 in detail in our next post.
Civil Rights Documentation– I have a section for Civil Rights because in June 2010, we filed a grievance with the Office of Civil Rights against our school/ district. Naturally, this binder was the place to keep up with that paperwork as well. (You likely will not need a section for this.)
Report Cards– you need a place to keep all grading records and this binder is the best place. This way you have at-your-finger-access to your child’s grades during any meeting you attend.
Scoring and Testing – any reports that you get or testing results can be stored here. This can include testing results directly related to the students learning difference. In our situation I store his dyslexia testing results as well as standardized testing results in this section.
School Work Samples– you need a place to keep samples of work that show great progress as well as the samples that indicate your agreed modifications and accommodations are not being followed, should this become an issue.
Behavior– any documentation related to behavior issues would be stored here.
Notes– you need a place to keep flyers, notes and handouts that are given to you. Maybe you attend a local learning session about Dyslexia or you print stuff off on the internet or take notes in a parent teacher conference; you need a place to keep up with these papers.
Having this binder will help you stay organized, plan agendas for your meetings with the school, and will allow you to be prepared for the meetings you will have at the school.
Next week’s post on this topic will cover how to request a 504 Committee Meeting to obtain accommodations and modifications. (This nifty binder will help you!)
Now it is your turn to share with us how you stay organized, plan for conferences and attend meetings prepared in order to advocate for your child who has a learning difference. Share your knowledge and be a resource to other parents! (Also include the state you live in.)