We have a 504 plan on file and our son is in regular classes and makes mostly A's and B's. He pays close attention and completes his work in a timely manner. When his depression begins to take hold again, he has his head down in class, can't complete assignments, fails to write down homework, doesn't use his study hall, and sabotages his grades. He's gotten through most of this tenth-grade year with minimal accommodations and has worked very hard. But he has two teachers who simply don't believe he can go along fine and get good grades and then begin to fail and not hand in work the next day.
How can you make a teacher understand that consistency is going to be a lifelong problem and is out of our son's control? How can we better cover him next year as the work gets harder and teachers continue to be less understanding?
There are also excellent videotapes (my favorite is Rick Lavoie's How Difficult Can This Be?) and many books and articles geared to teachers. Two excellent books are Harvey C. Parker's Problem Solver Guide for Students with ADHD: Ready-to-Use Interventions for Elementary and Secondary Students and Sandra Rief's How to Reach and Teach ADD/ADHD Children: Practical Techniques, Strategies for Helping Children with Attention Problems and Hyperactivity. Rief also has two videotapes showing her strategies in action.
In addition, there should be someone on staff whom teachers can go to when problems with children with ADHD arise in the classroom. That person could be the resource room teacher, consultant teacher, or guidance counselor. A one-time presentation about ADHD will never be enough to really effect change. There should be someone on site who can coach and support teachers throughout the school year.
As for your son's 504 plan, Parker's book has some excellent modifications listed for kids like him. You need to talk to his current guidance counselor to see what would be an acceptable modification. For example, perhaps you can build in an accommodation that will allow him to earn "homework passes" during his productive times that he can use later during "down-times." Extra time to complete assignments can also be written on a 504 plan. Another good source for suggested modifications is Lawrence Siegel's book, The Complete IEP Guide: How to Advocate for Your Special Ed Child.