Students get extra help from para (paraprofessional) at the public school

So you’ve been told that your child has a paraprofessional to help him while at school.  Sometimes these support people are called classroom aide, teacher’s aide, etc. What does this mean?
It may mean that the paraprofessional is also helping many other students in addition to your child. It may mean that your child gets help from a paraprofessional during certain portions of the school day. Don’t assume it is a one-on-one scenario. Some schools have wording in the IEP “student will have adult supervision”; I would hope so!  All public school children have “adult supervision”.

To what extent are your child’s needs met (or not) with or without a para?  Don’t assume that the teacher alone can meet all your child’s needs and all the other students’ in the room (in an IEP meeting, teachers won’t ask for extra staff in the room but parents can request para supports!)  Schools are now explaining that budget cuts result in less staff; your child who previously had a para may not now–unless you ask you may not know!  Our advocates can go to school meetings with parents. rsz_enthusiasticlearner-300x199

Ask the school:

  • how many students are served by the para?
  • at what times/scenarios does the para work/assist my child?
  • what real-life experience does my para have working with a student who has the disability my child has?
  • what training specific to the disability has the para attended?  if none, why not?
  • what training does my para receive that is different than   the professional teachers receive?  what does the para know about my child’s disability?
  • who will substitute for the para when the para is absent? how available is the sub?
  • what training/experience does the sub have?

Perhaps your child has a paraprofessional assigned to him and you are concerned that the para may provide too much or not enough support to your child.  Ask the school:

  • In what subjects/activities does the para provide direct instruction?
  • In what subjects/activities does the para provide social guidance/set or guide interaction with peers?
  • In what settings does the para fade to the background and serve only as a monitor?
  • In what settings does the para provide physical/hands-on support/assistance?

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These questions are best asked of the para privately and later to the staff in an IEP or 504 meeting.  A parent can request that these details be included in the IEP under supplemental aids/services.  In a 504 plan, it can be listed as accommodations.

The para may need ways to make his life simpler at the school.  Ask the para if he needs access to closets/storage areas at various points in the building for ease in acquiring extra clothing or a private area to change the student’s clothing.  Offer to provide extra clothing in an additional backpack close to the lunch area in case of spills. Don’t forget the para on the bus; she may need items as well.

When discussing your child’s needs at the school, be careful of the terms you use.  Yes, we all want our children to be “independent”; however, school personnel may interpret “independent” to mean that the student should be left to his own vices as much as possible—resulting in limited assistance from the para.  In primary settings, this may not be the desired scenario for some children. A standard Missouri had for our kids back in the early 90’s was “maximize the capabilities”.

If your child has been assigned a paraprofessional (para), more questions need to be asked!  A proactive parents helps prevent a child from incidents that result in suspensions or change in placement(s).

Accolades to all the hard-working wonderful paras!  Thank you.

Don’t be bamboozled by the school!  Our advocates inform parents about what Congress has for parents to help your child. We also go to those confusing IEP meetings!  Visit our website to set a phone consult;

©2015 , 2017   Special Education Parent’s Advocacy Link LLC dba The IEP Center™.  We are civil rights advocates.

We provide information at low-cost to parents so they can better advocate for their child with disabilities in the public school.  We can go with parents to meetings at the school.

Special Education Parent’s Advocacy Link LLC dba The IEP Center are not attorneys and do not give legal advice.  We are not licensed to practice law in any state; we do not represent parents or children.  Consult an attorney.


Second grader says he was locked in a hot closet at school |

Second grader says he was locked in a hot closet at school |

What’s going on at your child’s school?  Ask to see the closets or booths they use for discipline.  If they use such an area which is locked, then this is problematic.  This is not a necessary approach of behavior development.  Also ask to see the seclusion policy and review it to see if it is consistent with state standards.

Need ideas on how to pursue appropriate behavior training for your child by  the school?   Contact an advocate at the IEP Center.comthe-iep-center


Advocates at the iep center help parents solve IEP problems by providing information so they can advocate for the child with special needs.  Don’t be bamboozled!  Waiting and hoping for problems to go away allows our children to regress.  Homeschooling doesn’t have to be an option.  Hoping the problem will go away will only delay getting the problem solved.  Contact an advocate here:

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Special Education Parent’s Advocacy Link LLC dba The IEP Center provides information to parents regarding the problems of children with disabilities.  We are not attorneys and do not give advice.  Consult an attorney.

We help parents at low-cost.

©2014 Special Education Parent’s Advocacy Link LLC

IEP meeting deception in Missouri schools


Parents go to IEP meetings trusting the public school staff to do right by their child. However, many school districts often operate on the premise of providing services to a child that fits what already exists at the district, and disregard the unique needs’ of the child that the IDEA indicates a child with special needs’ is entitled. steeringmomhead-1 This hidden agenda may exist the entirety of the student’s educational experience.

Within the last ten years this advocate sees a decrease in the amount of support staff available to our children with IEPs who need it.  Paraprofessionals, especially, are often available to groups of children rather than for an individual child.  The overburdened paraprofessional quickly suffers burnout and our child’s needs go unaddressed.  A parent might hear in an IEP meeting that their child will have a paraprofessional; however, unknown to the parent is that the para serves four or five student simultaneously. Teachers are overwhelmed.

Some public schools continue to deceive parents that everything is fine at the school.  Those schools continue to do this because no one has called them to the carpet on it, or, parents don’t know how to  stop it. Parents have more control than we realize; many mechanisms outside of the school district are waiting to receive reports from parents of inappropriate public education scenarios of children with disabilities. the-iep-center

Advocates at the IEP Center give parents the information to help them acquire the services a child needs.  We recognize  tactics schools use to bamboozle parents.

Don’t be bamboozled!  Parents who are serious about their child’s education use advocates at The IEP

Parents who are serious about their child’s education use The IEP Center™ in public school district’s   throughout Missouri.

Call 816 865 6262

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Special Education Parent’s Advocacy Link LLC dba The IEP Center™ are civil rights advocates with special knowledge about the problems of children with disabilities.  We are not attorneys and do not give legal advice.  We do not give advice; we give information about the problems of children with special needs. We do not represent anyone. Consult an attorney.

© Copyright Special Education Parent’s Advocacy Link LLC 2014