Karen Seale
Aug 2, 2018

Where do I start w/ asking for a 1:1 aide for my ADD daughter?


Next year my daughter will be going to public school (middle school) after being homeschooled for 3 years. I want to make sure that she has a push-in rather than a push-out (is that the right terminology?). How do I fight for a 1:1 or push-in for her classes? I anticipate that the social-emotional toll will be far worse if she has to leave the class many times per day for her IEP work. Her confidence has improved immensely while in homeschool and I'm afraid we will go backwards if I don't fight for what she needs. Thanks for your help.

Yoshi B
Aug 4, 2018

The least restrictive environment (most exposure to non-disabled peers) principle of the law favors general education with supports, as long as it is appropriate. The receipt of these supports (such as 1x1 support) in the general education setting is preferred over the special education setting as long as the student can receive an appropriate education in general education.


I'm not sure your question deals with 1x1 aide support, but if it is, you may want to ask for an aide support assessment, but in all likelihood, it cannot be done until she is already in school. Gather all of the private records you may have that support that she should be in general education and that she needs aide support. But definitely requests the aide assessment if it looks like the district is not going that direction. Also, always give 24 hour notice and tape record the IEP.


Yoshi B.

Aug 5, 2018

I’m guessing when you speak to push in vs. pull out, you are speaking to specialized academic instruction versus speech therapy for example. Or having a resource in a general education classroom rather than pulling her out for a resource/learning center/special class.

If a parent thinks their child may need a 1:1 aide the usual way to pursue this is to ask the district to assess to determine if this is a need. But I suspect you may be running into bigger questions.

Think of an aide as a service like speech or OT. If a child may need speech, a team will do an assessment to determine if indeed speech is needed and how much. Same with an aide. So you could, right now draft an email to your case manager and say you think your child may need a 1:1 aide. You are requesting that they assess her and look forward to receiving an assessment plan soon. (They cannot do the assessment unless they have your consent) They may do the assessment and determine that she does need an aide. Or that she does not. If you disagree with the assessment, you have the right to ask for an Independent Educational Evaluation at public expense. Asking for the aide assessment, regarless of response will get the ball rolling.

If you ask for this assessment, they may respond to you in writing (called Prior Written Notice) or call an IEP meeting. While a school is required to implement the last agreed upon IEP, some middle schools will hold short IEP meetings prior to school starting or hold a meeting within 30 days or so of school starting, to at least change the allocation of special education and or service minutes.

In elementary school, for example, a child might be in a resource program where they receive special education let’s say, part of the day directly in resource, and part of the day in a general education classroom with aide support or some type of push in. That adds up to x amount of specialized academic instruction minutes reflected on your child’s IEP.

But in middle school the minutes typically change. They have 6 periods of English, math, PE, social studies, science… It may be offered that a child be placed in general Ed PE or art but may take a “fundamental” English or math class taught by a Special Ed teacher. This changes up the allocation of special education minutes compared to what they may be been receiving in elementary school. And since a school must adhere to what the IEP says, they need to hold an IEP meeting, change the minutes, and get consent to reflect the change in allocation of minutes for special Ed and services.

The middle school may tell you your child does not need an aide because they are offering she be in a fundamentals English class where she has access to the support she needs. They may say an aide is not needed in PE. They should be referring to her last assessments and her IEP history to make an offer of FAPE, but often schools systematically place students into the programs that they have.

Before you sign off on any new IEP or agree to what type of classes she has, make sure you understand what type of classes and services they are offering. You know your child best. If you think your child can take a general Ed pre-algebra class with an aide versus a fundamental class, ask for it and make sure it is noted on the IEP that you asked. If your child is academically and cognitively appropriate for a general ed class but requires many prompts to stay on task, needs someone to prompt her to stay on task and to write her assignment down, needs assignments broken down for her, or sometimes needs shortened assignments and less homework (some kids with ADD/ADHD who are medicated have much difficulty focusing on homework- it takes them much longer to complete and it leads to anxiety) ask for it. And note that you asked for it.

If you do not come to an agreement, or you are just not sure, remember you can sign to portions of the IEP. Or you may consent to the IEP but make sure your concerns or disagreements are noted on the IEP and audio record any IEP meetings. You need to give 24hr written notice to audio record. Since goals and services are driven by assessments, you have the right to ask for assessments, or if assessments have been conducted that you do not agree with, you have the right to ask for independent educational evaluation at public expense. And you can always ask an advocate. : ) There are other ways to sign an IEP along with follow up communications that an advocate may be able to help you with.

Best of luck.

Barbara Major

Lead Advocate, San Diego Special Education Advocate Team

Karen Seale
Aug 5, 2018

Thank you, Yoshi and Barbara! Your words and info are very helpful!

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