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!!

  1. I am in the same boat. My boys are twin and high functioning autism with ADHD. They’ve had ABA therapy since they were 18 months. Started at 40 hours a week while at daycare and is now at approximately 10 – 20 hours. They are now entering kindergarten full day from 8 – 2:30 and the school has an aftercare program from 2:35 – pickup. I understand the aftercare program is at the school, but is there ADA law that would support my need for the ABA therapist to be present at that time?

    • ADA requires accommodations, as appropriate, & needed. You could try identifying the needs that exist during this time. The ADA applies to daycares, so this program might be considered similar to them.

    • Hello to all parents and parties. I am a special educational paraprofessional working with children who are diagnosed with Austism on various levels. I am also a parent of a child who was also diagnosed with autism asperger, adhd ,and add by thee age of 18 months. He was also mon verbal. I am writing to say while it may seem frustrating that your child cannot carry the aba assistance directly into the classroom from home it’s also important that you ensure that the selected school whether public or private uses aba strategies and skills in their settings as most do.

      Selecting the appropriate school setting is key for all levels of children on the autism spectrum to flourish. Most of us are concerned and get attached to all services provided prior to turning 5 however children are progressing at a faster rate and need less of the support we attach to their disability. We can be a hinder to our children as well because we are accustomed to a service or services. Remember with improvement and progression comes limitation and gradually removal of a service once the goals have been met.

      Most children present with different behaviors based on settings and ppl present. This could be a great thing or problematic. Either way the goal is to set the children up for independence at each milestone. My child began with 1:1 early intervention services at home by age 1. He transitioned to daycare/early intervention in a school setting until three in a 6:1 the recommendation then became greatly challenging to navigate as when turning 5 his recommendation was set for 6:1:1 in D75 however public schools turning five placed him in a public school 12:1 with no restrictions or support beyond the classroom sped teacher.

      After a year of navigating and battling with the district about placement I did my own research which showed I need antedotols to support my claim of wrong placement. After 6 months into the school year my child had began really showing his behavior to be beyond the needs that the school could control with dealing with Autistic children. However instead of feeling as I hit a dead end or deaf ears I began documentation on when my child was exhibiting the behaviors how often I was called to remove my child and down to the suspension of my child in kindergarten for his outbursts and attack on staff.

      I then collected the same information from the schools each time they called or had an interaction with my son. Finally with the necessary data I was able to go to the school district supervisor with all supported documents from myself doctors and his school to support his placement being wrong. He was then transferred that same year to a d75 school in a 6:1:1setting for kids with multiple disabilities that used structured aba throughout the day in the classroom and in the therapy sessions. He gradually improved after 2 yrs to graduating into a 8:1:1 with the same school he then progressed further thru 3rd grade to a 12:1:1 the calls had stopped and my child was now learning with the support he needed.

      He entered middle school in the same program with the same school and flourished graduating from middle school with superintendent recognition and recognition in all subjects. He is now 15 as of February and in highschool in a inclusion program that includes 6 other students from his previous school with his general education peers on track to take early college classes in 10th grade. He is set to graduate with a regents diploma as his fellow peers 4 yrs to 5urs from now.

      So I shared all that to say that while you may feel frustrated that the services can’t go with your child. Visit schools that are of your interest before school begins ask tons of questions and ask what type of aba support is used and how it’s used and continue your outside aba at home to support your needs and child needs at home.

      Make sure that you document thee issues and if possible because you can’t Normally carry thee aba with your child to school settings for various reasons then try asking for a smaller setting such as 6:1:1, 8:1:1 and 12:1:1 all that means is there is more support and attention given to your child who may need it. As well as don’t remove any services when the child is transitioning from school milestone such as elementary to middle to highschool keep all related services your child has been given.

      It’s proven to help with transitioning in the public school. I hope this helps and if push comes to shove look into your city or states educational advocacy programs for help and support they are Normally free of cost and they can advocate for your child because they know the educational laws. Hope this help someone. I am not only an educational support for children with asd but I’m also a parent living with one whose passionate about his life goals to be as educated and independent as his peers equally.

      • Aloha Ebony,
        I have a non-verbal child with severe autism (level 3). I have an IEP meeting tomorrow. I am part of a autism group here on O’ahu and reached out to a professional in the group who advocates for parents who struggle with understanding IEP’s and how they are able to get services. We went over what I need to do which is really tough and it may cause a war between the school team and I but I feel if I don’t do it, my son will not gain the skills he needs. The school tells me every IEP meeting that my son has no behaviors so he does not need an RBT. But then, in some of his daily logs that come home to me, the teacher will mark that he has been having tantrums. I asked what she means by tantrums and she doesn’t answer me back in his log??

        I feel if he gets one and they fade it out once he is more independent it will help him. He is very compliant, meaning he will do what is asked even if he complains a bit with making some frustrated noises. What is a d75? and my son is transitioning to kindergarten so that is his meeting and IEP meeting all in one tomorrow. I am also concerned because they told me when he started pre-k that they potty train so not to worry but he has been going to the school for almost 2 years and has not been independently going potty yet. They said that they take him 4-5 times a day and that the bathroom is far so they don’t take him as frequently since they moved classrooms.

        We started potty training a couple months ago at home with his ABA and he has much better progress where he actually pees on the potty and is at 50 minutes now, but still doesn’t go at school which i find odd and disturbing because he will still be in pull-ups at school at kindergarten which I wanted to get out of the way since I know it is one of the hardest skills to teach especially as they get older.

        He also learned to take off shorts and pull-up shorts and slowly learning underwear put on at home. Is your child (children) non-verbal too? high-functioning or severe ASD? any advice on my personal case? Sorry for the long message but your message here was very interesting but I don’t understand all of it and want to understand.

  2. Hello my three-year-old daughter was diagnosed with high functioning autism with a global developmental delay at a year and a half she is now three and finally got a call from ABA center for autism behavioral analysis with availability for Shelby’s 20 hour a week ABA therapist!!!!
    I enrolled Shelby with child find services through the school district of CC she had her IEP evaluation and start school with a autism preschool pre-pre-school with eight autistic children and to Nuro typical children to be role models, it is an all day preschool from 8:30 to 3 o’clock Monday through Friday I want Shelby‘s ABA therapist to join her in the classroom and be with my daughter She’s nonverbal what do I have to do to make this happen?

    • Missy, to me the main thing is to convince them that she needs this support to be successful in the classroom, and achieve the appropriate challenging goals that should be in her IEP. Try to show that the current staff would have difficulty doing this without the therapist. Schools often worry about that they might have to pay for the person now or in the future; the person might talk about what does, & does not go on in the class; and other concerns that you need to be prepared to address. They may talk about the child becoming too dependent on the person. A plan for “fading out” the therapist might also be appropriate. Talk with the therapist about this, & how they would see their role. Having them at the IEP meeting & even meeting with key staff ahead could be helpful.

  3. I imagine the liability of having non-school employees in the classroom would be a major factor. What if that person got injured by another student? What if that outside person intervened with another student? So many issues. Also, if it is necessary for your child to have xyz service in order to access FAPE then the school district must pay for it, so I doubt they will agree that these services are required.

    • That would fall under THEIR employers Worker’s conp coverage. Nothing to do with the school. It is understood by the therapists and they all know very well what incidences or risks is involved with possible injury to themselves working with special needs kiddos with behavior issues.

  4. Following; I believe we will be in a similar situation, my son has Down syndrome, Autism and I would like his medical team to attend school with him as well, in the public system I have heard this is not possible I do not understand why especially since I am providing the services he will need with the job I work that pays for his insurance that can get him the help he needs to be the best he can be, we have our upcoming IEP meeting on July 1st with the school district so it will be interesting to see what happens.

  5. We had an ARD yesterday for my son, and they said no to having his ABA therapist on the school grounds with him. What is my next step? I feel at a loss for him,

  6. is there anything that can be done to a private school that will not allow a private aba thereapist into there school and only wanting a parent to go through there aba therapist on campus

  7. Hi I am in California, and i am having the same issue here. I am about to attend his IEP meeting next week, where i will attempt to make ABA part of his IEP. hopefully opening the door way for others…
    Any other ideas?

    • that is great, you are a great advocate for your child. i am having issues with the private school not wanting my private aba therapist into there school due to the principal only wants there aba therapist to see my son and pay for it with my insurance.

    • This is what our districts policy is https://www.pcsb.org/cms/lib/FL01903687/Centricity/domain/170/board%20policy%20stuff/ESE_SPP_and_signaturepage_COMBO.pdf
      Page 30 and 31 talk about parent paid for support. My daughter had her RBT with her at her current school (VPK) and a different school over the summer (summer VPK). The RBT was with her for 5 hours a day without any issue. She needed to complete the background check and get the district/state ID card to be on campus. Now this school year (kindergarten), same school, same principal I’m being told that the RBT/any parent paid for professional can’t be on the campus for more then 30 minutes a day. The principal would not speak to be about the issue without calling and IEP meeting.

    • Hi Liz I’m in Orlando too. I’m having a hard time with my sons school. Maybe you can give me some info. It seems like you’ve been through similar experiences.

        • OCPS and SCPS have issues constantly with this. You are going to have to file due process and get an advocate and BA that will fight with you. I have BCBAs/RBTs in multiple schools in sem and orange. It is ALWAYS a fight. Every school year. Every time the administration changes. Everything is a fight. Find a company that will fight with you. Now that RBTs are credentialed they can not deny medically necessary services and if they do they have to provide them. So, my advice is

          1 get an advocate that can go through due process
          2 find a bcba-d that can provide dr recommendation on specific ABA services that are medically necessary to be provided during the school day l. This needs to be very specific to include why it needs to be push-in services in the classroom and not pull-out. I have had schools only approve pull out services and want therapists to sit in an office with the child 6hrs per day.
          3 Make sure the bcba/rbt you want already are vendors with badges in your county
          4 put in writing your request for medically necessary services to be provided in school. Send it to ese director, teacher, principle, staffing specialist, and the district ese supervisor. Include IDEA and Wrights law statutes and sections pertaining to medically necessary services being provided in school.
          5 they’ll say you need a vendor and badge and forms filled out. Do all this. Make sure your bcba/rbt already has this done to speed it up
          6 when they deny letting them in the classroom as for prior determination letter explaining why your req was denied
          7 file due process w your advocate
          8 file a request of reimbursement of services that you have to provide outside of school because of their negligence

          I know this seems like a lot but really it isn’t. As soon as you file due process they have to move fast. The most important thing is that your advocate and therapist will work together and support you. Your bcba can request 97156 for extra collaboration of care for medically necessary services so they can bill for attending iep meetings.

  8. I have a parent of an ASD student, elementary level, (in NC) who has requested that her child be allowed to be observed by their privately paid ABA therapist, but is running into resistance from the Sped Director. What is anyone’s experience in North Carolina?

    • I would love to know about this in NC as well. We’re starting ABA therapy this coming Monday. I just asked my son’s teacher about implementation of ABA during the school day, and was met with a big fat NO. She mentioned some article just released and stated she would send it to me. I’m at my wits end bc his IEP is more tailored to academics. It seems like he is being written up or suspended every week for issues associated with his Mild/Moderate Autism and ADHD. at our last IEP meeting I requested to have meetings every 30 days. The next one is scheduled for 2/20 and I would like to have as much ammunition as possible to fight for some sort of ABA therapy during his school day. This is ridiculous! Our special babies deserve so much better from the school system!!!

      • If the behavior is having a direct affect on ability to learn, you should ask for a Functional Behavior Analysis to determine why the behavior is occurring and ask for a behavior plan, with proactive measures (can email me if you wish with details on what’s going on and I can try to help you out), and reactive measures that will demonstrate a decrease in behavior to (specific frequency or 0% of time). A behavior plan should be amended to IEP and dates. outlined to review data. You can never be too cautious, so data is essential on their end and the plan should detail who does what specifically.

      • I know this is definitely a late reply, but let me ask first off. Does he have a BSP (behavioral support plan) with his IEP? If not then demand the school do their job and do an FBA (functional behavioral assessment) for a BIP (behavior intervention plan) these are just a couple ways to protect HIM from getting sent home for his behaviors and start holding the school and teachers and aides accountable for his progress not regression. Also if he is receiving any services in school, you have the right to request documentation to support what they are doing to make sure he is getting what he is supposed to get. And if you need to you can ALWAYS contact the NC disability attorneys to step in and fight for HIS and YOUR rights in which you’re entitled to and it is FREE. There is also a group on facebook for exceptional children in which is a huge support group and extremely helpful in giving advice and pointers. Hopefully you get to read this reply and it helps.

  9. I live in FL. My son has ADHD and gets aggressive. I’ve been using ABA therapy the past 2 years because my son was asked to leave Daycare’s and I was stuck as a single working mother. ABA really helped. Now my son is going in PRe-K in a public school. They won’t allow my therapists in classroom. I don’t know what to do at this point. Everything I worked on has been canceled at this point. Very frustrating.

  10. Hello, I just read this thread and I’m just overwhelmed by the bureaucracy of the public school district. I don’t understand why schools don’t allow ABA therapist even if they’re privately funded and if there’s a medical necessity for it. I had to find a private preschool which allows my son’s therapist to be with him during class. And mind you, even if they are private schools and don’t have to adhere to public school laws, they are still not too happy with a shadow aide. I want my son to be in mainstream classes and not be confined to special ed. I feel this is discrimination on our kids and they should modify their rules to uphold our kids’ rights, the right to fit in while having someone guide them on their path. If there’s an organization that will fight for this, I’ll gladly join.

    • Because they do not want outside eyes to see what is really going on. There are lot of things schools do that are not ethnically right and for the best interest when in comes to children with special needs.

      • Actually, many support personnel who do not work for the school sit on their phones, interfere with instruction, and do not support goals being attempted by school teams. Some trigger children, some get too involved, some do nothing at all and become an extra big body in a small classroom. Relationships are so important. Working with the team and establishing goals together is best case scenario; parents are essential members of the team, but sometimes these extra people undermine relationships between school personnel and parents. There are some good ones–who doesn’t want extra help in woefully understaffed schools? School teams generally have good intentions for children; there are certainly times when someone is frustrated or just not a good teacher or paraprofessional, but generally, teachers want to help children perform within the class environment with other students to the best of their abilities.

  11. You may want to consider coming to the Autism Law Summit where issues such as this are discussed with national lawyers. We are looking at bringing a civil rights lawsuit against the DOE here in Hawai’i this school year.

  12. We have had ABA in place since our daughter was in kindergarten (just started 2nd grade). We live in TN and our district allows the therapist in the school with no hesitation. Problem here is that we private pay and even with insurance, we still pay $50 per session/day. Insurance alots 4 hours in school for a total of 40 hours per year. That said, we have basically paid for the training of 3 aides and are financially strapped. We are trying to petition the school board to fund the training of her new aide this year because we have already spent over 10k in training aides that don’t stay. They are young, right out of high school with no formal training in special needs. We want to advocate for well trained professional assistants who are knowledgeable in ABA basics and that are dependable.

    • Hi Kimberly, I’ll be moving to TN in September. I know your note is a few years old so I hope you receive this message. The only district I could get ahold of was FSSD. They DO allow outside shadows but the district is so small and limits us to live around that area which is so expensive. Which district does your daughter go to? I called FSD but have yet to hear from them.

  13. Louisiana just passed a law allowing ABA therapists to accompany Students to school at the request of guardian/parents. This is so awesome, I have been requesting this for over 3 years now. We have an iEP to find out how this comes into motion come the first day of school.

      • Hi Hayley, I was very excited by the new law, Act 696, but on the second day of school, STPSB restricts it to 30 min per dY for 2 days a week. Also mandates that he have another ASD eval. First one done at CH of NOLA and we waited a year for that appt. Second eval done by this school district as required by law when he approached 9 yrs old, confirming ASD diagnosis. Then I need letters (by those conducting the eval) stating the need for ABA in school to include other species as well. The law clearly says for school boards to implement a plan into their own policies and what they have done is restrict my grandson from having this support in school. So he hasn’t started school this year. He receives his ABA and I homeschool him. I plan to address the school boards next meeting

        • I live in st Tammany and just got ABA everyday for the entire school day, keep fighting.. it can be done!

          • Kat,
            Can you tell me how you kept “fighting”. I’m getting push back. They too are restricting his sessions to 30 minutes twice weekly. And to add insult to injury, those 30 minutes will NOT be allowed during instructional hours. The loop-hole in La RS 17:173 states that the “governing body (ie the school board)” and the behavioral health specialist would have to agree mutually that sessions during instructional time (i.e. English, science, math & reading) is in the best interest of the child. They make it clear that no student would benefit from sessions during instructional time based on the consent they ask you to sign. It clearly states that students need to have X number of hours of school and that these sessions will be during non-instructional hours.

  14. Any one want to join forces on a federal case on this issue?? I am very serious!! We have 3 just in our family!!

    If anyone has had ANY headway with ABA in classrooms !! Please update!

    • What state are you in? I can completely relate to your frustration with the public schools. I’d love be to join you and other families in an effort to help our children, along with all children who the schools discriminate against because of their disabilities.

    • Hi. Having the same issue in Nevada. If still interested in going federal and haven’t yet, I would be interested.

    • Same issues in FL and it varies from school to school and the principal’s whim. His BCBA attends schools IN MY DISTRICT, but HIS school won’t allow it. He is restricted to a behavior classroom that now seems to do more harm than good, his academics are not improving on state test scores, scored higher in kindergarden than does now and everyone KNOWS its not valid assessment of his academics, but test scores are what matters. Additionally, his behavior is suffering. COVID making it worse and just come to light more. How many years should he have to suffer before its ‘long enough’ of not improving?

  15. Same issue in TN. County won’t let in 3rd party b/c not FAPE if we pay for it. Instead, we got them to agree to an aid (paraprofessional who is anything but a trained RBT), but we also got them to agree to extensive training by third party re ASD & behavior, and an extensive training schedule by the system’s bcba. They also won’t offer direct services, only consultative by their own BCBAs. While it’s not what we wanted, I feel like we made the best compromise we could without due process or mediation. See what you can get in terms of private aid, and/or shared aid who they will commit to significant training!

  16. We are dealing with this right now. Our son is 4 and will be entering TK. Anyone in California had any luck?

    • We are from CA. Our son is in public school and has been receiving NPA ABA since he was in kindergarten. He just started middle school this week and still has a full-time BII. We are hoping to phase out the service by the end of this year, because he’s showing signs that he’s a little self-conscious having someone shadow him even though the BII has been staying more in the back of the class for the last couple of years. It was a difficult process to get the service initially. We had to sue the school district. Then for a couple of years after that, it was a fight to keep the service as the school tried to argue that he belonged in a special program instead of in a mainstream setting with a BII. By the end of 2nd grade, we were all working well together as the IEP team.

      • Hello TKN
        We are just starting this journey in CA. (Kindergarten) We have had services thru the district since he was 3 for preschool and his diagnosis has been downgraded to ADHD and Speech from Autism, but he is disruptive in class and afraid that they are going to send him to special ed. We ideally would like for him to be given a aide thru the district. Is this something you encountered and do you have any advise?

      • Can I have the name of your attorney or law firm that represented your case. My son is 2.5 and after 4 months of ABA in his daycare they just decided out of the blue to stop allowing therapist to come to the school.

        • I have a similar issue with my daughters private preschool regarding the private ABA we provide to go with her everyday. The ABA company requires the supersizing BCBA to observe two time a month but the owner of the school decided to now not allow this because she has admitted two other kids with autism and does not want to set the standard for the others. Her policy allows for one person (our ABA therapist but not for others such is the BCBA to observe in addition to other private therapists like PT or OT) to come.. I feel at a minimum the BCBA should be allowed under reasonable accommodations through ADA to come to observe/supervise since that is part of my daughters ABA therapy so she can progress. I am very irritated to say the least and feel a law suite is in order. Help??!??

        • In NJ, I find very little on policy for special education from 0-3 as it falls under Early Intervention funded by the state and then at 3, the district is responsible. I’ve seen so many kids in daycare without the help they need, and probably not even spoken about such a need with parents as they are supposed to refer to state for evaluation, but I clearly not required. If so, then all daycares/preschools are violating law. But, the problem is that there is no procedure recommended or at least none required to find at risk students before they turn 3, and so many families are at a loss of valuable time when their children are 0-5. If children are appropriately treated (not even a standard for that which is sad) upon diagnosis or referral during the prime learning years.

      • If you could please enlighten us on your law firm, my wife and I would be grateful. My wife and I came to CA last year on military orders, and the school managed to solicitate ABA off of his IEP when he really needs it.

  17. I am going through this too. There is a district 30 miles away that lets them in. My plan is to go to that district and request a copy of their policy, and then I am going to go before the school board and request that we adopt the other school’s policy.

  18. There is something called due process. In New York State, you have the right to a district-paid special ed “specialist” attorney who will go back and forth with the district’s attorney, attempt to work it out, then go to court if necessary. Look for referrals, perhaps via a special ed preschool, for an advocate. Sometimes the advocate is generalized. Sometimes she/he suffers from the same disability as your child and is head of the local chapter of an organization (e.g., Tourettes, wheelchair/mobility/ Autism Spectrum Disorder/dyslexia or dysgraphia, etc.) seek a referral from a specialist doctor, or from a local organization specializing in your child’s disability. The advocate often has good working relationships with the best, most helpful, doctors and attorneys who are sympathetic.

  19. We are having a similar problem in getting the ABA therapists into the classroom to observe. District policy allows it BUT District has unwritten policy requiring absurd amount of insurance coverage for the observer.

    • You can request that the district provide the ABA therapists to observe at their expense. If you believe your child is not receiving FAPE you can use the dispute resolution processes that IDEA gives parents. Your state parent training & information center should be able to assist you.

  20. 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!!

  21. 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.

  22. 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 have an 8th grade son autism. ABA has been the only successful treatment. I requested to have his RBTs (Registered Behavior Technicians) who had been working with him to be allowed to transition from summer to school. I was told it is against district school policy to let private paid provide services within the school. I simply asked for a copy of the policy. They could not provide it because it didn’t actually exist. I was allowed 2 weeks for my son’s ABA tutors (the RBTs) to come into the school. After that 2 weeks we had another meeting. They were proven to be successful and allowed to stay for another 2 weeks. We meet every 2 weeks with the team and are allowed to keep his RBTs if and until the district can provide the same level of support. Don’t stop fighting! #tigermom

          • I am so glade to hear the progress you made. I hope to have the same with my twin autistic girls in fort pierce Florida

          • This is great! What state was that? We’re in TX and they say because of HIPA they don’t allow. I am not convinced of course, as the ABA therapies have been more successful than school. And we’ll start the fight.

          • Paul, They could allow it, if they wanted to. You can make a complaint to TEA, but that probably would not help, but a request for mediation or a due process request might. I am with the TX parent training and information center. prntexas.org

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

    • I have had my sons RBTs (ABA tutors) in his school for half of a school year now. I am being told by the district coordinator that they need to leave by tomorrow. Curious how your meeting with the principal went and if you found resolution?

  25. 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.

    • In my district you cannot self fund it. The school is responsible for providing FAPE to every student with a disability. I can’t believe that you got your school to pay for services. Were you able to keep ABA in the school? Did you get ABA written in your child’s IEP? Super curious….

    • 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.

  26. 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!

  27. 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!

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

    • Dad2Luke, You hit it right on the mark. Our largest school district has a written policy forbidding outside therapists in their schools, specifically because it demonstrates that the district is not providing the service. In addition, they say other families will potentially make the same request. In the case I was involved in as an advocate, the classroom staff were deflated by the decision. ABA is such a specialized therapy that I think it should be an exception for allowing outside specialists in the classroom.
      2 of our smaller districts happily welcome ABA therapists into their buildings, and no on is suing them yet!

  30. 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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