ABA Therapy: ALLOWING PRIVATELY FUNDED ABA SHADOW AIDE INTO PUBLIC SCHOOL

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Sarah:  Hello! My child is diagnosed with high functioning autism and ADHD. We provide him with many privately funded services including ABA therapy and want the school to allow the outside agency we work with to accompany our child when entering kindergarten in the fall. His IEP does not say this is necessary, but for his safety and his success we are adamant about having them with the child all day. We have documentation from our pediatrician stating this is medically necessary as well as an official request letter from the phd/BCBA we receive services from stating why this is necessary. What can we do if they still reject? Please HELP!!

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16 Comments on "ABA Therapy: ALLOWING PRIVATELY FUNDED ABA SHADOW AIDE INTO PUBLIC SCHOOL"

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I am in EXACT same situation! We need to combine our efforts and make Complaints to (Office of Civil rights, IDEA complaints, office of special education complaints, ADA complaints, ) and hire a lawyer who can council us! I feel this is discrimination…because OT, PT and speech are allowed but no ABA which has been deemed “medically necessary ” and is same level of being a related service which is in part of having FAPE!!!
We need to get media attention, write newspaper articles!!

I’m very interested in this as we are in the same boat.

Has anyone had any success? I am trying to get my private ABA therapist into the school setting. However, the school district is not allowing the support for my child. I feel he could highly benefit from the additional support, as well as other highly trained professionals we’ve worked with. I am not sure what to do.

I am trying to do the same thing for my child–get the state and school to allow ABA providers into the classroom. Did you make any progress with this?

I am in the same situation. The school is not allowing our privately funded ABA therapist into the school. They said outside therapeutic services aren’t permitted but I don’t understand why, they have volunteers, our therapist is a highly trained professional, willing to go through the proper channels by the school district. Without this support, I don’t feel my child is getting the full benefit.

Generally this is a district or campus policy/procedure, & not a state rule. Schools worry about setting a precedent, confidentiality, etc. It could help if you can find out if other districts in the state are allowing this. Sometimes school will agree to things like this in mediation. Your state parent & information center should have some experience with this situation. http://www.parentcenterhub.org/find-your-center

I am in a similar situation, my son just started Kindergarten and the school only wishes to pay for a 1:1 full day. I disagree and I’m not sure how to make it happen. Desperately in need of advice of how to either get insurance to pay or get district to accept private ABA.

I am in the exact same situation. I was initially approved the aba shadow aide to come into my son’s class twice a week for 3 hours each day. School started on Monday and now the principal is saying it is against district policy, but no one can send me the policy. I have a meeting with the principal and vice principal on Friday. I will get an attorney and go public if accomodations aren’t made as we have had nothing but issues with the school and meltdowns since he started first grade there. We are now in fifth grade and while we have a 504 plan, I don’t feel like they are taking things as seriously as they should be.

Was there any update on this Sarah? We are in the exact same situation. The district has allowed us 3 weeks with our private ABA for a transition they that are paying for but I want the ABA aide to continue and I will self fund it. Curious what the outcome of your situation was.

the school didnot agree for us. what should be the next step.

You have the right to use the dispute resolution processes to try to get them to change their position. In this case mediation or a due process would probably be the best options. You can also appeal decisions up the chain of command, if you have not already done so.

We are currently fighting this battle, and have an IEP meeting in a few days to try to add this service with a medical order from the Developmental Pediatrician. I will let you know how it goes. I have also contacted an attorney through legal aide who agrees to accept the case, and have filed a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights. Keep up the good work!

Thank you all soo much for your input!
Chuck- I mentioned your point about developing procedures to address the school’s concern in another formal request I recently wrote.
Sharon- could you please explain what’s the difference between a regular IEP and an “OHI IEP”? I tried reading up on it but wasn’t sure what the difference is, and what is the name of the specific form I should have the doctor fill out?
Dad2Luke- do you think I should propose for them to arrange for an outisde evaluation? Did that work when you did that?
Thanks!

Request information from your school ( in writing with a stipulation that they get back to you in 5 working days) for the policy on OHI (Other Health Impaired \) IEP. ONce you get that give it to your doctor to fill out and then have an IEP meeting. This may help you get started.

I doubt that the school district will permit this. We tried something similar and, although the school principal was OK with the idea, the Special Education head was adamantly against it, and forbade us, or anyone employed by us, to enter the classroom. This was after having done everything necessary to be considered a volunteer. Our final conclusion was that if we provided an aide, we were showing that an aide is necessary, and the District might end up having to reimburse. We ended up in a long battle to get an outside evaluator to show that it was “educationally” necessary to have an aide, and have this believed.

Schools only have to consider medical recommendations in situations like this. Schools are required to address all of a student’s needs. You can try to show the school & IEP team that this aide will help support the school staff in meeting his needs. Often schools do not like to have someone with a student who is not a school employee. This can be because of confidentiality concerns, what the person might see, tell others, etc. You can ask them to develop procedures & an agreement for you & the aide to sign to address concerns that they have about a non-employee. You can try using the mediation process to reach a compromise.

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