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IEP FAQs: Can We Write our Parapro’s Name in the IEP?

by Wrightslaw

We want to have Cate as a paraprofessional because she has done a great job with our son. The administration wants to change her for someone who has a bad reputation. Can we write Cate into the IEP? Does IDEA state anywhere that an individual can not be requested as a paraprofessional.

No, the law doesn’t say anything about a parent’s right to select a specific teacher or paraprofessional. Your child has a right to a teacher (or para), but does not have a right to the BEST teacher or para.

You need to be careful about how you approach this issue.

Much depends on your relations with other school personnel and the policies or customs in your school or school district. In many schools, if a parent requests a specific teacher or educational program, this guarantees that the school will not provide it.

The school doesn’t want to “cave in to demanding parents,” they don’t want to throw the floodgates open – there are many unspoken reasons that parents are never aware of.

Read Loving Parents Want What’s “Best” for Child – School Only Needs to Provide an “Appropriate Program”

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27 Comments on "IEP FAQs: Can We Write our Parapro’s Name in the IEP?"

Sandra, Unfortunately the school can deny your parapro in the IEP meeting however there is no law against meeting the parapro like regular education students parents can. Parents of students that are not on an IEP can set up meetings with the teachers & request the parapro be there. You may be able to get this accomplished to discuss things with her & the teacher.


We desire to have the One-on-One parapro be present for the IEP. Our district Special Education Director says it is against district policy to have paras present at IEP. I feel strongly that I would like to meet the person who is caring for my child, and relay any concerns directly. Is it possible, and is there precedent, to have the district change it’s policy? Thank you


Do I have a right as a parent to request a para professional for my son only. He is a flight risk and will not be able to do his work without the constant attention from a person sitting next to him. He can be impulsive. In his school now they share the para with 4 other kids.


The student is entitled to a Free and Appropriate Public Education. It’s is the law. If the teacher has no knowledge or current training in the student’s disability then I would argue that they are not trained or qualified to teach that student. The parent has a right to ask for anything they want if it’s appropriate to that students needs and affords them a FAPE. This is what a good advocate does.
If a paraprofessional is providing services, it should be in the IEP.
The paraprofessional is not supposed to take the place of the intervention specialist if it states that the intervention specialist is supposed to be the one providing services. This is exactly why IEPs should follow the annotations and be as specific as possible. In addition, the various educational professionals should know their scope of practice.

Sharon L.

Jen, My son was on a 504 plan for ADHD and then we discovered that there is an IEP called OHI (other health impaired). WE went to the board office, got the paperwork required to have our doctor diagnose him and then we met with the school and developed and IEP. The laws the govern the IEP seem to be easier to deal with since they are more detailed. WE found that we could get very little on the 5o4 plan. When my son got on the OHI IEP we were able to get accommodations and modifications based on his diagnosis of ADHD. You would probably be able to do the same for the diagnoses you have with your son.