Aides: ALL SPECIAL ED STUDENTS BEING GROUPED IN ONE CLASSROOM BECAUSE ONE CHILD HAS A PERSONAL ASSISTANT

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Courtney: My child has medical and educational needs that has afforded him “support for 7.5 hours of the school day”. That is the whole day and that is the wording in his IEP. The school system is now wanting to put all of the special ed kids in his class because of this. They want the assistant to cover all of the children with IEPs. They are saying because the wording in his IEP does not say that the assistant is for him only, it is okay. I am very upset about this because some of the children they want to put with him are going to need full time attention for behaviors, as well as heavy support academically. Please help me find a way to help him keep the assistant we fought so hard for to be with only him!

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You can request an IEP meeting to get this part of his IEP written more clearly. Now, if you think they may balk, you’ll need to prepare carefully. Look at the goals in the IEP and the progress monitoring requirements. If they are well written, you may be able to use these to back up your point of view. If not, try to use this opportunity to get more specific in the goals and progress monitoring, as preparation. Then you can meet again in three months and show that sufficient progress toward goals is not being made.

Okay, what I just outlined is the theory. However, in practice, sometimes schools refuse to put anything meaningful into the goals and progress monitoring. In that case, you may need to be more creative in assembling evidence that the shared aide is not sufficient.

First of all, try to find one or more allies in the school personnel, to speak up in support for your positions in the meetings — perhaps the school nurse? Also, try to get your child’s provider to attend a meeting, by phone if necessary.

I know it’s hard to stand by and do nothing when your child is struggling, but sometimes it can be helpful to do just that for one or two months, to give the school a reality check. Just something to consider.

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