As a parent of a Special Education child, you need to know that your child is eligible for accommodations and modifications to their homework and testing. Some parents do not know that this is part of an adjusted learning plan, or Individual Educational Plan for a Special Education student.
Many parents question the difference between an accommodation and a modification in their child’s educational plan. An accommodation describes a change in environment, curriculum, or equipment in a child’s educational environment. A modification is a change in the way a child is tested or learns. As examples, an accommodation would be a special education classroom, and a modification might be fewer questions on a test. Accommodations and modification result in a better education for a child with a learning deficit.
Testing accommodations for a child can include a different classroom, using a grade lower classroom book, or being given larger print. Many teachers also allow homework accommodation, including allowing a child to do home work at school, or giving no homework at all.
Most evaluation and homework procedures for Special Education students involve using modifications. Some of these include:
1. Oral testing. Some special education students, especially those with reading deficits, do better when a test read. This is especially true for auditory learners.
2. Changing test to include fewer questions. Research shows that children with learning deficits do better with fewer questions. Some teachers will break tests into two or more days to allow for fewer questions each day.
3. Modifications to the test itself. Word banks provided students with answers to fill in the blank tests. Tests that have time limits can be lengthened. In addition, fewer words can be required in an essay answer.
4. If needed, the same test can be provides several different ways to meet the needs of the students. One test might be oral, and another written. Still another student may have fewer questions, and still another only an essay test. Each child should learn in the best possible means to suit their needs.
5. Modified homework assignments. Some of these include photocopied assignments, not writing the entire sentence, or allowing a drawing of a topic rather than a written explanation.
Making changes to a Special Educations child’s testing and homework will assist the child in learning more efficiently. Working as a team with a teacher, parents can help to choose what works best for their own child.