Academic Accommodations & Modifications

Enrichment Therapies

January 21, 2019

by Haley Hall, B.A.

Learning Specialist & LEAP Instructor

Academic accommodations and modifications benefit children in many ways, especially those who are struggling. These supports can help children succeed in a classroom by changing how or what the child learns. For more information about what accommodations and modifications are, and the difference between them, click here for Jaimi’s post. Today I’m going to share with you various accommodations and modifications that can be made for students to help them succeed in reading and math.

Scenario: A child is delayed or struggling in reading.

If your child struggles with reading, you know that it can affect their everyday life. Here are some accommodations to make learning more accessible for students with reading difficulties:

  • Audiobooks are a great resource. The website is a free online library for children with reading barriers. You can also use a text-to-speech software or a reading pen, a small device that can read aloud words that are scanned with the pen.
  • Another accommodation is to offer a simplified text for struggling readers with main ideas highlighted, instead of expecting them to read an entire page or chapter. Or, offer a word web or graphic organizer to help improve comprehension of information.
  • Pairing children together can highlight the strengths of two children. One child reads the text while the other writes information.
  • Children who struggle to read can have a hard time with written directions. Give directions orally instead, and then check for understanding by having students tell the directions back to you.
  • Another option would be to provide visual representations or videos of the learning material.
  • Adapted books are books that have been modified (or adapted!) in some way. This might mean that the book includes simpler text, additional picture symbols, braille, or some tactile elements. In most cases, these additions are meant to make a book easier for a child to access and use. For more information about adapted books check out this post or this example!
  • Visualizing is a learning strategy that can help improve comprehension. I have written a post all about visualizing here – check it out!

Scenario: A child is delayed or struggling in math.

For kids with learning difficulties, math can be challenging. Accommodations can be used to make many math concepts more accessible. Some accommodations include:

  • Allowing the use of a calculator for students when they are not being assessed on computation (for example, when solving word problems). There are many types of calculators available, including options for students with vision impairments and calculators that read aloud each button and answer.
  • Use a hundreds chart or multiplication grid when working on addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division.
  • Graph paper can be used to help students line up digits when solving problems. I use this paper in my classroom daily!
  • Allowing students to draw pictures or including images with word problems can help support independence in problem-solving.
  • Instead of expecting students to memorize formulas, you can offer a list of relevant equations.
  • Using manipulatives is also extremely beneficial when working on math. For more information about how to use manipulatives, check out this post!

With the right modifications and accommodations in place, all children can be successful!

Enrichment Therapy & Learning Center has locations in the Iowa City, IA area and Des Moines, IA area. We provide individual speech-language therapy and tutoring as well as offering small group academic programs.  At Enrichment Therapy & Learning Center our passion is to help kids achieve effective communication skills and gain academic success.  Contact us for more information on how we can help your child succeed.

740 Community Drive, Unit A

North Liberty, IA 52317


5530 West Pkwy, Suite 300

Johnston, IA 50131



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