Paraprofessionals: CAN A PARENT BE THEIR OWN CHILD’S PARAPROFESSIONAL?

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Jessica: My 8 year old daughter has autism and requires a 1:1. She also has daily seizures. She had to stop going to school after Christmas break last year due to the seizures. I would like to have her back in school, but I feel uneasy with her condition. I have been homeschooling her and had the idea that maybe I could be her 1:1. I asked the Special Ed Director and she said she didn’t know that she would have to find out. Just to be clear if she goes back to school the district has already said she will have a 1:1. Are there any laws or policies against parents as paraprofessionals?

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Germaine

My child is sixteen years old and starting 10th grade this year. He has gone through a dozen aides. His most recent aide is no exception. She texted me while on vacation to tell me she would not be returning as his aide. I went on the schools website and saw that the job is posted. I called the principal twice, sent my resume a letter and clearances to him as he asked the applicant to do. I also emailed him and he has not responded. I came to find out our school district does not have any issue with a parent and child being in the same school together. The issue is they will never hire a parent to be their child’s personal aide. Is there a law anywhere stating the school district could discriminate against me for being a parent applying for the position.

Chuck

I would imagine in most states that campus/district staff are allowed to make such decisions & policies. Your state education agency may be able to tell you.

Car

You may be able to become a Home Health Aide for your child if she has an existing insurance authorization through an agency. You would have to find an agency to hire you as a Parent/HHA and you can then be paid to be your child’s aide and be able to go to school with her. This will only work if you have a non-skilled nurse in place now. Your qualifications would have to match her needs. This is a fairly new opportunity for parents, but it is worth looking into. I will be going to school with my child who has Down Syndrome, autism, and serious medical conditions. She is nonverbal at 13 years old. This is the only way I could find to make things work for us. We have not had good luck with HHAs in the past.

Morning

I think it would be a “lose lose” situation. Parents are not paraprofessionals for their own kids and paraprofessionals are not parents for the kids they assist. You don’t want to put yourself in this position. The school should provide a well trained para who is also trained to the specific needs of your child. You also want your child to learn to navigate through the school years with a variety of adults and peers. The faculty and staff at the school would most likely not support the parents as paraprofessionals to their own kid

Alice

Yeah but sadly, as I have been thoroughly reading-up on paraprofessionals I’m finding that most of the time these “professionals” aren’t really trained to do squat-diddly with a special needs child! It makes me nervous and sounds like it could my my child’s situation worse. I know if they had someone patient and well-trained and certified that she would excel, but it seems schools don’t have the budget for such a thing usually. My child has severe autism and is non-verbal, and not potty trained and going into a special needs Kindergarten next year!

Giovann

Consider volunteering.