In order to secure the necessary accommodations in the most efficient way, it is very important for the parents to get to know the special needs staff at their school. Parents can seek advice from specialist teachers, principals and parents of other children with disabilities. Whatever the parent’s level of special education knowledge, tact, mutual respect, and a desire to educate about FOP will go long way towards getting the child whatever he or she needs to succeed at school. Special needs staff are trained to provide assistance with modifications and adaptive technologies.
Adjustments are provided to students with a disability to support access to the tests and encourage maximum participation. These adjustments are detailed in the National Protocols for Test Administration.
Test and Work Modifications
The child with FOP may need extra time for tests and assignments that require a lot of writing. If so, it needs to be negotiated at the start of each academic year.
A height adjustable swivel chair (preferably padded) can compensate for a head and body that doesn’t turn. It also makes it much easier for the child to stay focused on the teacher and follow the action in the classroom.
A foot rest can help the child maintain proper leg to hip position and thus reduce the strain on his or her back and spine while sitting. This is also something that the occupational therapist should teach the aide and/or teacher to check on a regular basis.
Since some students with FOP often cannot turn their heads due to neck stiffness, they should be seated where they can see the teacher easily and without strain. Also, seating the student in the front of the classroom can also accommodate the moderate hearing loss often associated with FOP.
To reduce the strain on the child’s back, a rolling backpack can be very helpful, as can having a 2nd set of textbooks at home and/or an aide to carry things.
You can find information about assistance with transport here.