If your child has physical or mental disabilities, he or she can benefit greatly from accommodations in school. These adjustments and services can allow a child to find success and continue to learn alongside peers, which can boost confidence and learning.

One tool your child may receive is an Individualized Education Program, or IEP. These plans lay out any modifications, services or other accommodations that an IEP team has decided is appropriate for your child. Some common accommodations include:

  • More time on tests
  • Taking tests in different settings
  • Sitting in a special chair or location in the classroom
  • Audio materials instead of textbooks
  • Frequent or regular breaks
  • Instruction in study skills
  • Assistance from designated readers, students, scribes and other aides
  • Abbreviated tests or assignments 

Using these accommodations can allow a child to be comfortable in the classroom, focus more and better understand the materials. 

Understand that every child is different and may require different accommodations. The ones your child may benefit from depends on his or her disability and specific educational goals.

Challenges in receiving accommodations

Unfortunately, even when an IEP dictates that a child will receive these and other accommodations or modifications, some schools fail to provide the promised support. 

This failure to deliver special education services can create problems for parents, administrators and – most importantly – the student. As such, it is crucial for parents to confirm that a child is receiving services laid out in the IEP. If there are concerns or questions regarding compliance with the plan, parents can talk to a member of the IEP team.

If problems persist and a child is not meeting his or her goals, it may be necessary to pursue legal remedies.