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For Parents of Children with AD/HD - An ADD-Friendly
Way to Organize Your Child's Educational Records
In previous issues of ADDvice, we talked about your getting
finances and tax papers organized; parents should take this
same concept and apply it to their children’s educational
records, especially if their child has special learning needs
such as AD/HD.
Here’s what Carol Sadler, an educational consultant
and advocate, recommends:
I typically recommend dividing a 3-inch notebook
into 6 SECTIONS, and putting all records in chronological
order with most recent on top in each section. Put a divider
between each year in each section. It is also very important
to keep a duplicate copy of these records in separate place.
You should also make a copy for attorneys/advocates/physicians
or therapists. This way, you do not have to take them in and
out of your notebook.
SECTIONS should be clearly marked and include:
- SCHOOL RECORDS - contains IEP's, 504's,
meeting notices, Parent Request Letters, and communication/e-mails
to school and from school district.
- FORMAL TESTING RESULTS (school and private)
- Psychological, Medical, Neuropsychological Reports, and
OT, PT, Speech/Language evaluations, etc. should be kept
- REPORT CARDS, Progress Reports, Standardized
Tests (ITBS, IOWA, COGAT, etc), IEP Goal Updates.
- WORK SAMPLES, informal teacher notes,
- DUE PROCESS DOCUMENTS & State Complaint
- MISC - Bills, Draft IEP's.
It is important that you be able to flip to your information
quickly and you have it handy at every school meeting. That
way, when the schools officials say they didn't receive something,
you can give them another copy, or quickly dispute what they
have stated. I can't tell you how important it is to be organized
and prepared in your meetings. Make the time to organize now,
and as you go along throughout the year. Don't wait until
the last minute. Do a little at a time. Keep a hole-punch
available and keep school records in one place as they arrive.
Once your child gets older and your notebook grows too large,
it is best to continue this same concept, but have one notebook
with just the current and last year's information in it. Every
third year, pull out the older year's info and put in another
notebook (which should be easy to do if you have used sub-dividers
In addition, I also recommend you keep an expandable
3 inch folder to accumulate your child's daily school work.
Label it and date it. Keep one for each year. Keep a sample
of everything. You never know when you might need it. Keep
artwork, drawings, writing assignments, tests, and all school
work returned. Keep it in chronological order, with the most
recent one in front. Just keep adding to the front as it comes
in. Copy and put only a FEW work samples in your educational
Every year you should also ask to review your child's
educational file at school to make sure you have
a copy of everything in that file. Don't ask for just a copy
of the file, ask to go in and see it yourself. Make sure you
have everything, and nothing is being hidden from you. Make
an appointment with the school, don't just drop in. Ask for
copies of anything you don't have. The school must provide
you ONE FREE copy of everything in your child's
Carol Sadler is a Special Education Consultant/Advocate.
Her website www.IEPadvocate4You.com
has lots of valuable information for parents of children with
When we asked about these, here is what some readers had
on the Brakes and the companion workbook
for kids 8 and up through teenagers. My own son (9) even has
gained quite a bit of insight about himself by using it this
summer. He enjoyed it. He pulled it off my shelf, and started
filling it out and referring to it. It's also thorough on
basic living and social skills as well.
For teens, I recommend "Study Skills Made Easy"
by Davis et al, Help4ADD@High
School by Kathleen Nadeau, and School
Strategies for ADD Teens.
Also be sure to check out two additions to the Focus Series:
Helping Kids with AD/HD at Home
Issues When Kids Have AD/HD
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