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Can I be my son's Para?



Hi! I am a stay at home mom. My son is in first grade. He desperately needs a Para. His IEP leader says let's try other ways first. His teacher has stopped trying. Nothing gets done.

Can I qualify to be my son's Para? That way the school won't have to pay and the teacher won't be so overwhelmed? 🤷 

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YAY! You got in and posted!

Ok, on to your question.


As a professional advocate, one of the biggest pieces of advice I offer is "choose your battles" and I rarely recommend that you fight a battle that you cannot win.

There is nothing in IDEA or any state regs (to my knowledge) that would prevent you from being your son's para. Your school district policy may say otherwise.

However, this is not a battle that you're likely to win. A 1:1 or para may be FAPE for your child, but "school won't have to pay" should not be your argument as that is not what IEP services are based upon. They're based on the child's needs.

When you say the "teacher has stopped trying" you need to further define that, for your IEP team, and call a meeting. What, specifically, is your child not receiving that they need?

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I know my sons school is also struggling for paraprofessionals. If you are a stay at home parent you can always apply for the paraprofessional position at your sons school and see if they can employ you as a SPED para and have you assigned as his para. 

I agree with the Admins, if the teacher has stopped "trying" then an IEP meeting needs to be called immediately to ascertain what is going on and how the "team" can fix it. Good luck!

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It's not unheard of for a parent to be their child's para, I actually have a client right now that was her child's para for awhile. However, in my experience, sometimes just having the parents come into the child's classroom environment disrupts his/her routine and causes dysregulation.  If you're really interested in helping in the school, maybe a creative solution would be applying for a para position within the district and they could then move someone else in to work with your son. 

Michigan mother of two with IEPs, and owner of MI Student Advocacy Services. Trying to change the world one IEP at a time. 





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