Determining what testing accommodations a child needs is a challenge. Parents and educators must carefully choose accommodations that will minimize the impact of a learning disability. However, will not give an unfair advantage to the child taking the test. The goal of any testing accommodation should be to enable the student to demonstrate what he has learned. Over-accommodation inflates a child's scores, and under-accommodation deflates a child's scores. When accurate performance assessment is the important thing, both are a problem. How are decisions made on what accommodations are provided for a student? A committee consisting of the parent or guardian, a regular education teacher, a special education teacher, the principal, and any other needed individuals such as a school counselor or psychologist, physical therapist, speech therapist, or occupational therapist makes the decision. IEP is the name with which is often called the organization. It is responsible for the developing of IEP which serves as the road map for the child's education and determines what she or he needs to get a free appropriate public education (FAPE). FAPE is required for children with qualifying disabilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). 

What does your child need

The IEP should include the accommodations a child will receive during testing in the classroom, on school district tests, and on state level testing. Generally, accommodations used in testing must also be used on a regular basis in the classroom. Children with disabilities do not receive any accommodations on testing if the IEP team decides they are not needed in some cases. What To Consider When Choosing Accommodations: What accommodations have been tried that were successful in helping the child access instruction? What strategies work with the student in the classroom? Is he or she a tactile, visual, or auditory learner?) How does the student feel about the accommodations? What are his or her preferences? What barriers are there to providing accommodations? What can be done to overcome them? What works best in different learning situations? Accommodations come in many forms. Presentation accommodations are changes in the way instruction is delivered to the student. These might include magnifiers, enlarged print, American Sign Language, text readers or oral reading by an adult or tape recording. Response accommodations allow the student to respond in different ways to the questions on a test. They offer alternatives to traditional pencil and paper responses for children with disabilities. Examples might include using a scribe to write answers for the child, allowing the child to dictate into a tape recorder, or using a computer text dictation system such as Read and Write Gold, using a picture communication system or augmentative communication device, using assistive technology. Scheduling Accommodations are changes involving time for testing. This might include accommodations such as extended time, breaks during testing, a change in the testing schedule, or breaking the testing down into multiple sessions. One of the more important things to consider when deciding on accommodations is whether the accommodations give a student an unfair advantage over other students.