This tip comes out of a meeting with a parent yesterday, and comes from Mikel. It is a from the inside of ASD suggestion, and the parent and I found it to be an excellent one.

If your child has an accommodation for testing which includes one on one with an alternate setting, and you are concerned with failing grades, try having the child remind the teacher of the accommodation at test taking time. Give your student a script, for example, “Mrs. Jones, I wish to access my accommodations for test taking. Thank you.”

Have them ask for the accommodation every time a classroom test or quiz comes up. Although there may be some push back on accessing the accommodation every time a test is taken, this will not only remind a busy teacher of the accommodation from the IEP, it will get the teacher in the habit of planning for it if your child uses the “broken record” behavioral technique: the same words every time. Have a back-up written card you give your child with the exact phrase; they may be more comfortable handing the teacher a card. Include the date of the signed, current IEP on the card.

One parent given this tip expressed two very valid concerns to consider: 1) This may make the child stick out. If this is a concern, we suggest that you meet with us to come up with a way to implement that doesn’t make the child stick out. We don’t suggest using the above unless the child is completely comfortable with it, and we suggest training the child to ask in an appropriate way, for example: raise hand, wait to be called on. 2) It should not be the student’s responsibility to implement the IEP. We agree with this. However, if the student is comfortable implementing himself, this gentle and repetitive shortcut will most likely result in the team coming up with a way to make sure it happens every time.

A final word of caution. You may experience push back in this, as some IEP team members may cite that allowing the child to access the testing accommodation for all classroom tests will create unhealthy dependence on the accommodation. We say, the student is entitled to this, and let’s build success first, then wean back to closer to the classroom test taking.

May we gently remind you, as well, that if burden on staff to implement is cited as an argument against implementation, it is not the concern of parent or student. It is up to the educational professionals to implement the IEP as written.

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