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Should I Make It a Big Deal?


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My son is in kindergarten in PA. It's only half day kindergarten. He's in full time autistic support class. I thought the iep meeting went surprisingly well and they put in his IEP all the things I was hoping that they would. In general, they've been very supportive of my concerns and his needs. When school started, I already had him working with an agency that provides tss 1:1. So as soon as school started the bht went to school with him, and also goes to daycare with him after school.  I'm sure this was helpful to the school.  Recently he had started going to general education class for part of the day with his 1:1 with him. Now, the 1:1 that is coming from the outside agency has a schedule change and isn't able to be there 3 days /week for am kindergarten times. His teacher emailed me last night because she doesn't have any other staff that would be able to take him to general education classes on those days and she wanted to know did I want her to try to send him without a 1:1? I asked my son and he was pretty clear he isn't going to that class alone. So I told her no.  My question is... I do realize it's the school's responsibility to provide the 1:1 and that just because the outside agency isn't available doesn't excuse the school. I get that. But at what point should i make it an issue? Should I try to wait it out a little? It's sad that he can't go to general education those days now but I'd rather he not go than go and be terrified.  How long should I wait to make it a big deal? 

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Read through the IEP carefully.  When a student has an IEP & an ISFP, only one tends to say that the child will be provided with 1:1 support.  If his IEP does say that he needs 1:1 support to access gen ed, this puts it on the school (not the IBHS agency) to provide the support and they need to follow the IEP - not provide an excuse for not following it.  Most school district solicitors will not put a school into the position where they are relying on a 3rd party in order for the IEP to be followed.

I'm not sure what the solution is for you without having more details.  If the school is relying on the IBHS agency to provide a 1:1 for a student's IEP to be followed, they have put themself into a situation where they should be providing an aide or paraprofessional to be 1:1 with your child when the RBT is unavailable either due to illness or schedule conflict.  If the IEP is worded where it should work this way, the teacher needs to hire someone to fill in for the RBT.  They should also provide makeup services for when the IEP isn't being followed.  The thing is that admin handles staffing - not the teacher - so that's who should be working to hire someone.   (Are they even aware that your child has this need going unfulfilled?)  Now if the IEP says nothing about a 1:1 being needed to access gen ed, you're out of luck when the RBT isn't available.  Since your assigned RBT cannot be there when your child needs them, you should ask the IBHS agency to provide another RBT for the days when this RBT can't be there.  (I'm not sure that this is going to happen.  I've not seen a child with 2 RBTs and there's a huge staffing issue with all IBHS agencies which is likely why your RBT can't be there in the morning.)  The other factor is that with autism, kids do a lot better with consistency which could be a negative with only being in ged ed 2 days/week or having a different RBT when the main RBT isn't available.

For your own piece of mind, you should find out who is responsible for staffing your child's time in gen ed so you can better advocate for making sure there is staff for your child to get what they need in the future.

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First, yes, what Judi said. Read the IEP and see what it says specifically about this.

Second, as far as them hiring a 1:1, I feel your pain. Really, I do. But this is one of those things that is really "nobody's fault" as we said in our advocate chat a few weeks ago.

My son has been without a 1:1 nurse all school year. Beeelieve me when I tell you that I am the squeaky wheel. It was listed with one agency in September, now it's up to 8 agencies. But at the end of the day...it's on Indeed and all the other websites, and no one is applying. Can I really go down the route of getting them to change the pay rate for this? I can't force them to find applicants when I know that they are having monthly job fairs and all that.

I would be amenable to trying school without a 1:1 aide because that is your end goal anyway, right? Just go through all the what-ifs, what the crisis or de-escalation plan is, and so on. Make sure it's documented in the IEP.

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