Kris: My son will be a high school freshman in August. He has always participated in mainstream classes and is scheduled to do so in high school. He already has an IEP in place at the high school with accommodations to take breaks as needed to manage stress due to his Autism. Last year, at his middle school, he successfully participated on the cross country team. His coach was also his Algebra teacher and therefore knew what his IEP accommodations were and honored them during practices and meets. The high school cross country coach will not have any academic interaction with my, his only exposure to him will be through athletics. My question is: Are athletic coaches required to honor IEP accommodations?
Please email the coach and tell him about your son and his needs and his participation in track at the middle school level. The best plan is to talk to the coach 1-1 and give him a a true sense of your child’s abilities and a profile of your son so that the coach understands how to work with your son in a way that it is a “win win” situation for both of them. Many coaches have been successful this way. . High school level sports are, many times, more competitive and intense than middle school sports. The coach may not have the extra staff to accommodate or even try to keep a watchful eye on your son to accommodate your son’s needs. I hope that you can work with the previous coach to talk to the high school coach
In Illinois, they are not. Athletics are considered an extracurricular activity. But, in my opinion, any good coach should be willing to sit down with you and listen to what your son needs to be successful in the sport.