Accommodation letter – private school

On the occasions that I am asked to write accommodation letters for student clients I like to post them (with identifying information removed, of course) so that other parents can see examples of what to ask for and how to ask. This is the first letter I’ve written to a private school. So I thought it was important to post it. If you’ve read any other’s that I’ve posted, you’ll notice that I’m much less forceful, as I don’t believe private schools have an obligation to accommodate anyone. (Please forgive any formatting weirdness. This was copied and pasted from a Word document.)



To Whom It May

 This letter
is in regards to my work as a certified ADHD coach with [
Student Name,] at the request of her mother, [Mom’s Name.] I began working with Student at the conclusion of last school year. We are now meeting
three times a month during this new school year. Overall, my assessment is that
Student is that she is a bright,
articulate, and competent young lady. Most of her struggles seem to come from
some remaining attentional issues, organizational weaknesses, and the
challenges that her dyslexia presents.

 It is my understanding
that, unlike public schools, your structure doesn’t support formalized
accommodations such as IEPs and 504s. However,
Student has shared with me some ways in which her teachers last
year were fantastically accommodating and really helped her to succeed. As
Student is my first student from [Private School Name,] I’m excited that
she is in an environment that is wiling to make the accommodations that she
needs, even if they are individualized and not systematic. I have no doubt that
with the right help now
Student will
become even more independent and will be very successful in high school and

 In that
vane, I have some suggestions that may help your faculty and staff to help
Student. The primary reason for this
letter is to support her use of a chrome book (or other comparable laptop)
instead of an iPad. The combination of
ADHD, dyslexia, and just how her brain works makes the use of the iPad
particularly difficult for her. A chrome book with a keyboard, cursor, and
larger screen will make it much easier for her to access the material.

 Based on my
last session with
Student, I would
also ask if there is flexibility and availability to offer her a second set of
textbooks? This is a relatively standard accommodation in many public school
settings when the inventory of books is sufficient. This would help
Student greatly in terms of compensating
for weak working memory and other executive function deficits. The alternative,
though not impossible, of carrying all her books home and back every day can make
for a prohibitively heavy backpack.

 I think it
is also worthwhile mentioning that I’m working with
Student on two specific new organizational systems to replace her agenda
and her binder system. I will share that I have been doing this for many years,
have worked with close to 300 clients in that time, and have been developing
outside the box compensations for my own ADHD for 25 plus years since my
diagnosis. Over that time I have developed systems that really work for our
ADHD brains. I’m sure you would agree that the goal is to make sure that
Student is organized, prepared, and is
learning skills that will continue to be useful into college and beyond. That
is always my focus. I’ll be helping
to transition to using an accordion folder to keep track of her paperwork and a
simple (probably digital) To Do List to keep track of her assignment. She’ll
also be using some version of a month-view calendar for time management.

 In the years
that I have taught these systems ever single kid who has fully bought in and
used them has been far more organized and more successful as a result.
Student certainly has the buy in. So,
I’m confident that she’ll do well with these systems. It is my hope that her
teachers will be on board with all of this and that it won’t present an
opportunity to be down graded for not having the “right” binder. It is my job
to make sure she learns the skills to have what she needs. It just won’t be in
a binder.

 Thank you
for the opportunity to communicate with you about
Student and her needs. I’m looking forward to what I can help her
accomplish throughout this school year. I would be more than happy to speak to
any of her educational team about the details of any of the systems, the
reasons they work for us ADHD’rs, or anything else. Please don’t hesitate to
contact me.



Matt Reid,



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