When parents request a one-to-one aide or paraprofessional for their child with a disability, they are often frustrated by the school district’s response.
Even when the district agrees to their request, parents may be dissatisfied with the results.
As an old saying goes, “It is never safe to assume.”
This warning also applies to assumptions about one-to-one aides.
Parents need to know
- what they want
- how to get it
- what outcomes they expect
What is a One to One Aide?
Because misunderstandings are common, parents and school personnel must have a clear understanding about the child’s need for a one to one aide.
You need to clarify the settings in which your child needs the aide.
1. Does your child need one individual who is assigned to work with the child during the entire day?
2. Can your child be successful if several individuals rotate during the day?
3. Does your child need the aide in specific classes or at specific times during the day?
4. Does the child only need an aide for transitions (class changes, etc.)?
If your child’s IEP does not specify that one individual will be assigned to work with the child, the result can be unsatisfactory.
It is important that the classroom teacher know about the aide’s assignment so teacher does not “pull” the aide away to work with another child or group or children.
What are the Qualifications of the One-to-One Aide?
One of the thorniest issues involves the aide’s qualifications.
A word of caution – “Be careful what you wish for.”
Not surprisingly, parents want an aide who is highly skilled and qualified.
Although cost should not be the deciding factor, the reality is that school districts accept significant expenses when they hire an aide.
Read How to Request a One-to-One Paraprofessional for Your Child by Parent Attorney Wayne Steedman.
Learn how parents can make a case for a one-to-one aide. Read the caselaw and find out why comprehensive evaluations are essential.