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1:1 Aide

Lesly Nieto


Hello i live in Tennessee and have an autistic child who is 8 years old we have an IEP coming up and I really want and believe he needs an aid he is in the general setting classroom part time and special Ed setting whenever he is in the general setting his teachers have stated he does not listen nor pay attention and due his work unless they have the chance to sit beside him I have stated this before in our last IEP and no one really said anything it was shrugged off I didn’t push I felt let’s see what happens but I feel they are going to tell me no due to staff shortages they are having which I understand or they will make me feel like his getting more services than any other child but the only solution can’t be for him to go back in his special Ed setting the whole day ? What Can or should I do and say thank you in advance 

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Here are a couple of things you could do:

1.  Reach out to the Tennessee Department of Education and see if they have any resources or organizations that can assist you with advocacy.

2.  Ask for an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE), which would hopefully state an aide is necessary for your son to access the general curriculum.   The school will probably ask your reason for requesting an IEE, which you don't have to give, but in this case I see no harm in telling them that it is because you disagree that an aide is not necessary.

3.  Ask your son every afternoon after school what was taught today.  Keep a journal of his responses to show he does not know or understand what is being taught.

4.  Ask for all school work to be sent home or for access to it via an online platform.  Look at this every day to see if he is understanding and doing the work.

5.  Make sure the following accommodations are listed on the IEP document for your son:

- Frequent teacher check-in's for understanding of the assignment and material

- Have student state directions back to the teacher to ensure understanding

- Give directions in a variety of ways (verbal, nonverbal)

- "Chunk" assignments into smaller tasks/steps

- Frequent teacher check-in's to make sure student is working and doing the correct work

- Teacher check-in's to make sure assignment/work is completed

**If you put enough on the teacher (if necessary, of course), the teachers might actually help you in your request for an aide.


Here are some things you could say:

1.  Point to the fact that his own teachers say he does not listen, pay attention, or do his work.  State that this is a result of his disability and that it is denying him access to the general curriculum.  Further state that because of this, he needs an aide in order to be provided a free appropriate public education (FAPE), which is required under the law.  Don't think of it as him receiving "more services."  Currently he is not being treated equally with his peers because he is being denied FAPE.  He needs services to give him EQUAL access - not more.  The word "discrimination" often gets their attention.

2.  State that your son is entitled under the law to the least restrictive environment.  If that is an aide in the general education setting, then that is what he should receive.  Staff shortages are a nationwide problem, but they're not an excuse for not providing FAPE.  See if they have tried to contract with an outside service provider.  That is allowed and if needed for your son, should be pursued.

3.  Since the title to your post is "1:1 Aide," I'm assuming that is what you are asking for.  I would try a compromise first and ask if an aide could be placed in the classroom to help more students than just your son.  Of course if this doesn't work and a 1:1 is necessary, then ask for that.

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Data.  Data drives IEP services.  Who told you that he needs constant prompting to stay on-task when in his gen ed classes?  Did they put this data into writing?  What about his sp ed classes?  Is he off task there?  They might say he needs sp ed all the time because he can't stay on task in gen ed.  Is he learning what he needs to stay on grade level in sp ed?  This might be why he needs to have an aide:  He can meet the state education standards if they give him appropriate services - namely someone to keep him on-task.

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And his teachers in the gen Ed have said to me that he will listen and do his work if he has someone next to him otherwise his just sitting there.. and he does good in his sped class because it is smaller 11 kids including him with aids prompting him and keeping him in track , his sped teacher said when his in the general setting he gets overwhelmed and tunes everyone out due to being a larger class I believe the least restrictive environment is what he needs but all of this troubles me and as far as them writing it down into his IEP no they have not not even my parental concerns it’s something that really frustrates me .

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