Tips for Helping ADD/ADHD & Executive Functioning Students Prepare for Finals

Image courtesy of anankkml/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of anankkml/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

For students with ADD/ADHD and Executive Functioning concerns, preparation is even more essential. I always recommend to all of my high school and college clients to begin the studying process sooner rather than later.

Here are some suggestions to better help the process…

  • Meet with his or her teacher at least once before exams. Be sure to enter that meeting prepared with specific questions about content and items needed to prepare for exams.
  • Review the previous exams from teachers. Plenty of information about test questions, style and patterns can be learned through this process. If you know what you’re studying for, it is easier to prepare for an exam.
  • Begin reviewing notes and identifying any potential missing information. If notes are not strong, seek out a classmate and compare notes. For my clients with social concerns, I am encouraging he or she to seek out the teacher.
  • For students with IEPs or 504 Plans, it is important that they meet with his or her case manager and make sure any accommodations or modifications are in place. Parents can help with this too. Although I encourage the student to do this because it helps create self-advocacy skills.

For more information on my ADD, ADHD and Executive Functioning coaching, please visit www.adhdcoachchicago.com. To learn more information about some of the other services I provide, please visit www.carrolleducationalgroup.com and www.iepexperts.com. I can be found on Twitter at ADHDEFCoach. You can also find me on FacebookGoogle Plus and Tumblr. My good friend and fellow ADD/ADHD Coach Tara McGillicuddy invites me as a regular guest on ADD/ADHD Support Talk Radio. Tara does many wonderful things and you should check out her website here. Feel free to email me at jonathan@adhdefcoach.com or call 773.888.ADHD (2343) with any additional questions.

Dealing with a Difficult Teacher or Administrator

As a former Special Education teacher, I’m well aware of the difficulties involved with being an educator. It can be even more difficult when you work with Special Needs Children. I come from a position of empathy with all teachers.

With the above being said, I’ve dealt with a few extremely difficult and unprofessional teachers and administrators. While it doesn’t take away from great educators, it certainly can make my job of working with individuals with ADD/ADHD and

Image courtesy of Ohmmy3d/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Ohmmy3d/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

challenges difficult.

Difficult teachers are one’s that make his or her work about themselves and blame others for the failures of his or her students. But you will also see this individual at he forefront of taking credit for the success of students. Difficult administrators are always finding reasons not to support staff and becoming “buddies” with prefered staff members.

The key in working with these individuals is not to engage him or her in topics that have nothing to do with your child. As a parent, I’d go through the roof if I felt someone was intentionally or unintentionally not meeting the needs of my child. But I’d take a moment to pause before reacting. As an individual with ADHD, this ain’t easy. But I realize that personal battles injure the process.

As I coach parents before these types of meetings, you need to keep this about the process. Nothing more or less. With parents that I know will get emotional or off-topic, I will sit next to him or her and tap on his or her’s foot to stop talking or engaging the other side. Difficult teachers and administrators enjoy engaging in off topic battles because it takes away from discussing the education of the main topic of an IEP Meeting…the child!

Ironically enough, this is the same thing I tell the parents of my clients. ADD/ADHD and Executive Functioning individuals love making the argument more about how he or she has been wronged than the matter at hand. Or the famous…you got me in trouble.

I’d like to say that trying to be the bigger person always works…but it doesn’t unfortunately. We can only take so much as parents or concerned parties, but trust me, it’s not worth the fight. No one wins and your child will not get proper services he or she deserves. I will keep repeating myself, BUT THE MEETING IS ABOUT YOUR CHILD. Don’t lose site of this…

For more information on my ADD, ADHD and Executive Functioning coaching, please visit www.adhdcoachchicago.com. To learn more information about some of the other services I provide, please visit www.carrolleducationalgroup.com and www.iepexperts.com. I can be found on Twitter at ADHDEFCoach. You can also find me on FacebookGoogle Plus and Tumblr. My good friend and fellow ADD/ADHD Coach Tara McGillicuddy invites me as a regular guest on ADD/ADHD Support Talk Radio. Tara does many wonderful things and you should check out her website here. Feel free to email me at jonathan@adhdefcoach.com or call 773.888.ADHD (2343) with any additional questions.

How to have a Productive and Positive IEP or 504 Plan Meeting

Image courtesy of PhotoStock/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of PhotoStock/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I experienced an amazing 504 Plan meeting this morning. Everyone was on the same page and the child will continue to thrive as a result. I really appreciate these meetings because this isn’t always the case as I’m sure many of you are aware. IEP and 504 Plan meetings can often times take on a negative tone and little will get done. The Special Education process doesn’t need to be this difficult.

There’s many reasons for this process to break down. This includes confrontational parents, unprepared staff members, or disruptive advocates. Parents don’t always prepare well enough and staff members can be overwhelmed by countless meetings crammed into one day.

Just because someone says they’re an advocate doesn’t mean they know what the heck he or she is doing. I’ve seen plenty of advocates make the process more difficult by yelling and screaming during the meeting. This isn’t football and not every staff member is evil. Instead of making the meeting about the child, he or she will make it about fighting and arguing. I’m not saying there isn’t a time and place for this, but an advocate doesn’t need to go on the offensive right away.

With the above being said, the right advocate can be of HUGE help in a meeting. By know the right questions to ask and having an understanding of the school district and Special Education procedures, it can make huge difference. It’s important that you bring the right advocate to a meeting. Here’s some things to look out for…

  • Promises to get accommodations. No one can guarantee anything.
  • Disgruntled parent. He or she will usually have an agenda that has nothing to do with your child.
  • Lowest price. This isn’t a charitable adventure, so don’t go price shopping. Experience and quality do have a price tag. It’s worth it to spend the right money on the right person.
  • Individuals recommended by the school or school district. You don’t want anyone that has a direct connection to the place. They’re looking for work and not results.

If you choose not to hire an advocate, be sure to do your homework. It’s important you script out how the meeting should go and dictate your position. It’s OK to disagree and remember you’re as much a part of the process as the school. Just don’t be selfish or greedy. Don’t ask for the moon when all you need is a rock. As a great attorney once told me…you should want a well-running Chevy not a Cadillac.

For more information on my ADD, ADHD and Executive Functioning coaching, please visit www.adhdcoachchicago.com. To learn more information about some of the other services I provide, please visit www.carrolleducationalgroup.com and www.iepexperts.com. I can be found on Twitter at ADHDEFCoach. You can also find me on FacebookGoogle Plus and Tumblr. My good friend and fellow ADD/ADHD Coach Tara McGillicuddy invites me as a regular guest on ADD/ADHD Support Talk Radio. Tara does many wonderful things and you should check out her website here. Feel free to email me at jonathan@adhdefcoach.com or call 773.888.ADHD (2343) with any additional questions.

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