Mason: a 504 Plan Support Success Story

How the Vested Academics Team empowered a high school student with the tools to unlock the potential of his personalized learning plan

How It All Started

Mason was naturally bright and loved learning. Despite being in advanced history, science, and mathematics classes, Mason struggled with grammar and writing. In fact, he had been given accommodations to help him with his written assignments. But, whenever his teacher or aide tried to offer suggestions on how to improve his work, they didn’t get very far. Unfortunately, Mason had a tough time letting things go, especially when he believed he was right.

Mason’s parents knew that their teenage son’s autism played a role in his struggle to communicate effectively; however, they also knew that he would benefit from using the support options outlined in his 504 Plan. Unsure of what to do, Mason’s parents reached out to Vested Academics for help.

Parent Perspective

  • Felt their son could not hear them
  • Exhausted from constant correcting
  • Upset that Mason’s school and clinicians hadn’t helped
  • Worried that poor writing skills would hold Mason back

Mason’s Perspective

  • Believed he was too smart for help
  • Felt misunderstood and judged
  • Thought his way was the best way
  • Used yelling as a way to be taken seriously

How the Vested Academics Team Helped Mason and His Parents

Unified Approach—After conducting Mason’s initial learning assessment, his academic coach worked closely with his support team. By sharing information, connecting for regular updates, and proposing new approaches, everyone was kept on the same page and made adjustments to employ a consistent model of support.

Accountability—Trained to de-escalate aggressive behavior, Mason’s academic coach was able to hold him accountable while simultaneously modeling an appropriate response. Without anything pushing back at him, Mason’s rigidity softened enough to permit him to explore new ways of expressing himself.

Addressed Learning Gaps—By carefully introducing light conversations on the benefits of writing well during Mason’s regular sessions, his academic coach was able to pique his interest. Slowly but surely, Mason began participating in exercises that improved his writing chops and overall performance on quizzes, tests, and standardized exams.

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The Result

With ongoing encouragement from his teachers, family, and academic coach, Mason got a better handle on his anger. He learned how to recognize when he was feeling overwhelmed. When he caught it in time, Mason also realized that he could take breaks, calm down, and express himself in a way that made his teachers, peers, and friends less upset.

Over time, his outbursts at home and in the classroom decreased. And, with his writing skills growing stronger by the day, Mason signed up for a summer poetry class—the very place where he would discover his favorite poets: Sylvia Plath and Langston Hughes.

In His Own Words

“She kept me in the middle. I spin and spin and she is the ball bearing that decreases the friction and smoke. She is very smart and useful to me and I thank her for that.”

10th Grade

Next Steps

At Vested Academics, our learning support professionals help students reach their academic goals. Contact Our Team to learn more.

Attend our classes and events on this topic. From webinars to in-person events, guest speakers to professional instruction, our events calendar is filled with outstanding resources for parents and students alike. Go to the Events Calendar.

With nearly twenty years of experience as an educator, Jennifer Chase has developed a natural ability to meet individual students at their level, helping them find confidence while working toward their goals.

More about Jen C.

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