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Trina:  Kinder 6 year old Down Syndrome currently SSN 2 Program that offers a teacher and para 75% of time, all ages. She needs full support. She Has IEP, BIP, FBA.
Avoids tasks, language gap with peers. No inclusion with age appropriate children which has been shown successful, and behaviors less.
The School teams feels that she needs to be placed to SSN3 Program, Full time Para 2-1 and in a class with all ages.There are no age appropriate children in this program either. Children are more challenged, behaviors greater.

We want to keep our daughter in the SSN2 program with support and inclusion to age appropriate children with a full day next year, or have full time para and full time inclusion to age appropriate children.

The school team says this is too restrictive, Para support 2-1 is the least restrictive.

We want to negotiate with the school. I need to understand what LRE/INCLUSION means for a student like my daughter?

Can you please educate me so I understand better before attending our meeting tomorrow morning.

  1. It’s true that a paraprofessional used inappropriately can hinder a child’s ability to interact with peers or learn effectively. But this can be solved by carefully considering the para’s duties, providing him/her with adequate training, and giving him/her good supervision.

    All that aside, you’ll likely have a hard time winning the school to your side of thinking (hint: 1-1 support is more expensive). You need solid evidence, beyond just your opinion. I suggest arranging for an independent evaluation for your child, one that includes classroom observations, teacher input, and a records review. It would be best if you can find someone who has experience with the inclusion of students with intensive disabilities (better yet, down syndrome).

  2. Trina –

    Ugh. The argument that having 1-1 support for a student automatically makes a placement more restrictive is such an easy and ridiculous one for schools to make.

    IDEA requires that eligible students with disabilities be educated with their non-disabled peers “to the maximum extent appropriate.” It also requires that students not be removed from the general education environment only if education in such an environment cannot be achieved with the use of supplementary aids and services (§ 300.114).

    A paraprofessional can certainly be a supplementary aid or service. Simply requiring that aid/service to be successful in the general education environment does not make it more restrictive. Having NO access to typical peers in a separate environment is more restrictive.

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