Homework tips for students with special needs!!

Processing issues make school work a challenge for my son, and so of course, they make it a challenge for me (I know…this isn’t about me). He receives fair modifications, but that doesn’t always help.

He recently had a project due about polar bears-I was so impressed with how he researched, typed, and put his board together. Still, I was glad to see that project go.

Later that day, he came home with two more projects to complete in addition to his daily homework. As we read the directions together, my husband and I couldn’t stop laughing (wine may have played a factor). The projects weren’t hard, but they demanded time.

My son is very fortunate (or unfortunate, depending on perspective). He has a teacher for a mother, and his classroom teacher is AMAZING!! The kind you want to clone. She gets it, we communicate, she keeps her expectations high and yet notices when my son is truly struggling.

But what about all the not so amazing teachers out there? As a teacher/mom of a child with a disability, here’s what I’d like them to know about assigning homework:

  • Even if the assignment has been modified, it still might take us longer than you’d ever    guess. Sometimes there are tears, screaming, and occasionally self-inflicted pain. We might only get through the first three problems, but that might be a huge accomplishment.


  • The more time you give us to complete a project, the more success he’ll have. If he’s having an off day, no bribing, disciplining, or begging will work. And heaven forbid I have a late work day or three. Please provide ample time for completion.

  • Please give clear expectations, and please let us know how the work will be graded. Better yet, let us know the purpose of each assignment so we know what to focus our time and attention on.

  • If it’s math homework and the concepts are fairly advanced, allow the use of the calculator. Then at least we can focus on the skill. I promise we are still working on those basic facts!

From moms like me everywhere, we (and our children) thank you!