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Classroom Aides for Special Education
We are looking into hiring an aide to assist our soon-to-be 4-year-old son with social interactions at his Montessori preschool. (We are in the process of having him evaluated for Asperger's.) Does anyone on BPN have experience hiring an aide for their child? How did you find your child's aide? What qualifications did the aide have? What were the aide's duties? How did the aide interact with the staff at the preschool? Did the aide have to submit to fingerprinting and background check before she could accompany your child to school? Did this type of intervention help your child? Thanks in advance for sharing your experiences. Concerned Mom
However, being a private aide in a classroom can be a really tricky position. They work for you and for your child but they spend their day with teachers and staff and other kids whom they're not responsible for. It's a huge balancing act and it takes the right kind of personality to manage it. Their priorities are to do what's best for your kid, but that's not always what the school staff would prefer. On the other hand they have to work with these folks all day long and they want to keep a good relationship. This is where experience in a classroom setting helps tremendously, so you don't necessarily need to find somebody who has worked with kids on the spectrum, just somebody with classroom experience who is flexible and reliable. I ended up believing that ''qualifications'' are less important than personality. Experience is great, but I'd rather have somebody with less experience who is friendly and warm and reliable (of course) who is able to adapt while my son changes.
As for the specifics of what they do and how they interact, that's really going to depend on your child and on the staff at the school. I never needed to get any of my aides fingerprinted because BUSD considers them school ''volunteers,'' but your school will be able to tell you what they require.
You didn't say anything about who would be paying for this person, and that's a whole other thing to know about, but I won't get into that. Feel free to contact me directly if you'd like more information. Good luck! Jill
My son goes to a public elementary school in contra costa county and has a one-on-one aide due to speech delays. Can anyone give me input on what my rights are in regard to choosing his aide? I have asked for a different aide due to her incompadibility with my son but was told by the school principal that I did not have any ''rights'' in regard to choosing his aide. I plan to escalate this through the special education system & perhaps hire a facilitator. I would like to get all the input I can, so if anyone has any information on my rights I would appreciate it. A determined mom
There's an article in there that tells you to stop using the term ''aide'' and start using the term ''paraprofessional.'' Paraprofessional is a legal term defined by No Child Left Behind which specifies a certain amount of education and experience, there is no legal definition of the term ''aide.'' Make sure it says Paraprofessional and not aide in your IEP!
Get an advocate! I recommend Amy Kossow (amyadvocate[at]hotmail.com). Of course, advocates aren't free, and you can always do it yourself if you're brave (not me, though!)
Start a papertrail of things the current aide has done wrong, putting particular emphasis on things that may violate your son's IEP. Send regular updates to the SPED director of your SD. Be annoying, it's the only way.
Of course, none of this is any guarantee that you'll be successful, a drastic alternative would be to pull your son out of school until the matter is solved to your satisfaction. The school district will be extra motivated to resolve the issue because any time a child is out of school, the district loses money. Good luck! Jill
Our child is in private school and needs additional support from an aide. We don't know how long this will be necessary and don't know how to find someone who can help. Ideally, they would be trained in education, special ed or the like. It might be someone who is looking to pursue a career in special ed and is looking for some experience. Or it might be someone who already has this experience. We have talked to a couple of education therapists who might be able to supervise this person. Any ideas would be most welcome! Anonymous
I am looking for information on Aides/Shadows for preschool-aged children with developmental delays. Specifically, I would like to know what type of education/ experience/expertise is required of aides that are offered through the public school systems. My son has some developmental delays and his developmental pediatrician feels that a classroom aide would help him be more successful in his current preschool setting. We are going to go through the public school system (Piedmont) but I also want to consider private options if there are any. We actually have a fantastic nanny who is well educated and has some, although limited, experience with kids with developmental delays and I'm wondering if it would make sense to hire her to do this for my son if she winds up being just as qualified as anyone else out there.... any words of wisdom would be much appreciated!
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