Accommodating students with special needs in general education classrooms

Teachers and other members of each student's IEP team should have information about the way the student learns best, and types of accommodations that the student finds helpful on classroom assignments and during previous testing.

Nolet and Mc Laughlin (2000) describe instructional accommodations as "a service or support that is provided to help a student fully access the subject matter and instruction as well as to demonstrate what he or she knows" (p. These accommodations do not change the content of instruction or expectations for performance.

A team approach to determining appropriate accommodations and then supporting students in the use of those accommodations is critical.

The team needs to include the student and parents, general and special educators, paraeducators, and any support personnel who are needed to help the student use an accommodation - such as speech and language clinicians, physical and occupational therapists, and school psychologists.

Modifications or Alterations Accommodations do not reduce learning expectations. Changing, lowering, or reducing the learning expectations is usually referred to as a modification or alteration.

Modifications can result in greater gaps between students and their classmates.

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