Common Accommodations and Modifications in an IEP For 3-5 year old’s

Accommodations and modifications for 3-5-year-olds should be tailored to meet the unique needs of each child. These young children may have various developmental, cognitive, and sensory challenges, so it’s important to work closely with a team of educators, therapists,
and parents to create an effective IEP.

  • Accommodations are changes in how a student learns and demonstrates their knowledge without altering the curriculum’s content.
  • Modifications are changes made to the curriculum or expectations, often involving a reduction in content, complexity, or grading standards.

Examples of accommodations and modifications


  1. Extended Time: Provide additional time for completing assignments, tests, or in-class
  2. Frequent Breaks: Allow short breaks during lessons or assessments to help manage
    attention and focus.
  3. Small Group or One-on-One Instruction: Offer personalized instruction to address
    specific learning needs.
  4. Use of Assistive Technology: Provide access to technology tools or devices like text-tospeech software, screen readers, or speech recognition software.
  5. Visual Supports: Use visual aids like charts, diagrams, or graphic organizers to enhance
  6. Verbal or Visual Cues: Give verbal or visual reminders and cues to help with task initiation
    or transitions.
  7. Preference for Seating: Allow the student to choose their seating arrangement to optimize
    learning conditions.


  1. Modified Grading: Adjust grading criteria to reflect the student’s individual progress and
  2. Altered Assignments: Modify the content or format of assignments to match the student’s
    skill level.
  3. Individualized Goals: Develop personalized learning objectives based on the student’s
    unique needs and abilities.
  4. Support from Specialized Staff: Utilize the expertise of special education teachers,
    speech therapists, or occupational therapists to provide additional support

*Remember that the specific accommodations and modifications included in an IEP should
be based on the student’s individual needs and goals. Regular IEP team meetings and
ongoing communication with teachers and specialists are essential to ensure that the plan
remains effective and responsive to the student’s changing needs.

This article forms part of the 3-5 Transition Toolkit

Student Rights, IEP, Section 504 and More

Getting the right help for students with disabilities is made easier when families learn key vocabulary and understand how to use it. PAVE provides videos to support learning about student rights and how to work with the school to get individualized support.

Video number 1: Pyramid of Rights Protections for Students With Disabilities

The first video provides a visual to help—a pyramid of student rights. Learn about special education rights, civil rights, and general education rights. Students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) are protected by the full pyramid of rights. Students with IEPs and Section 504 Plans have civil rights that protect their right to be accommodated and supported at school. All children in the United States have the right to access a free public education. Learn key terms from these rights: FAPE, equity, and access, and how to use those words to help a student get their needs met.

Here are resource links referenced in the video:

The video mentions that a civil rights complaint can be filed at the local, state, or federal level and may include elements of more than one civil rights protected area, such as disability discrimination, racism, and/or sexual discrimination. Here are resources with more information about civil rights complaint options and how to access forms:

  • Local: OSPI maintains a list of school officials responsible for upholding student civil rights. Families can reach out to those personnel to request a complaint form for filing a civil rights complaint within their district.
  • State: OSPI provides a website page with direct links to step-by-step instructions for filing a civil rights complaint with the state Equity and Civil Rights Office, or the Human Rights Commission.
  • Federal: The U.S. Department of Education provides guidance about filing a federal complaint. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is another option for dispute resolution related to civil rights.

The video provides information about some special education dispute resolution options. Here are related resources:

The Youth Education Law Collaborative offers some free legal assistance on topics related to educational equity, with a priority for families who demonstrate financial need:

Video number 2: Accommodations and Modifications

Our second video shares more detail about the rights of students under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Key to protecting those rights is the accommodations, modifications, and supports that enable a student with a disability to access what typically developing students can access without support. Non-discriminatory practices related to bullying, student discipline, and attendance are protected rights. Click on the video to learn more about what the right to equity means.

Here are resource links related to this video:

PAVE article: Section 504: A Plan for Equity, Access and Accommodations

Video number 3: IEP Goal Setting

Our third video provides more detail about the rights of a student with an IEP. A three-step process is provided to help family caregivers make sure a student’s IEP goals are supporting the right help in the right way. Learn about Present Levels of Performance (PLOP), Specially Designed Instruction (SDI), and SMART goals to become a well-trained partner in the IEP team process.

To get help from PAVE’s Parent Training and Information staff, click Get Help to complete an online Help Request Form.

We’d love to know whether these trainings are helpful. Please share your feedback by completing a short survey.