What Does an IEP Classroom Look Like for My Child?
A thorough, truly individualized IEP is a great accomplishment. But what if your child needs daily, hands-on support to achieve IEP goals? What if this level of support isn’t included in the IEP? As much as we’d like to support our exceptional child through his or her academic career, it’s usually not possible to be present in the classroom all day every day.
Do you feel that your child needs daily, hands-on support? It may be possible for your child to have a dedicated school employee assigned to his or her academic development. This applies to you IF your child needs this much support to receive a Free and Appropriate Public Education. This person can assist with IEP classroom goals, both academic and behavioral, on a daily basis. A one-to-one aide may be an option if it fits your child’s needs.
Is a One-to-One Aide Right for My Child?
One-to-one aides are often called “school personnel” or “paraprofessionals.” A one-to-one aide is a full-time adult who accompanies your child throughout their day at school. Many parents desire this support as the best possible choice for their child, creating an IEP classroom environment that fully supports their child’s needs.
A child may benefit from a one-to-one aide for different reasons that support educational growth, or it may be too much intervention. A Functional Behavior Assessment may help you understand if one-to-one support would most benefit your child if social or behavioral concerns are a big part of your child’s IEP.
The decision to use a one-to-one aide for your child is an IEP team decision. No single person on the team can decide alone that it is best. Keep in mind, you are a part of the IEP Team. If you feel that your child’s IEP classroom should include a one-to-one aide, you must be prepared to present evidence. While school funds should NOT be a factor in the discussion, know that one-to-one aides are expensive. IEP teams may try to use other supports before implementing a one-to-one aide, and those supports may be exactly what your child need. School teams may genuinely believe that this level of support is not right for your child regardless of the expense.
So, you must be ready to plead your case using data. It won’t be enough for you to say, “I really believe in my heart this is what they need.” You must show how test scores, student work and observations prove the need for this support.
What Are the Pros and Cons?
There are good things and bad when it comes to one-to-one aides. Learn about them, and more, by logging into ExceptionALLY. Log-in now and get prepared for your child’s next IEP meeting.
We help parents who are frustrated with schools and the world of special education.
Could this help anyone you know?