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Autism - Support Across the Spectrum Autism - Support Across the Spectrum

School wants to change my son's aide against my wishes UPDATED

Posted by on Jan. 30, 2013 at 3:23 PM
  • 22 Replies

I received a phone call from my son's principal today.  She told me that they want to change around the aides, move my son's aide and give him someone else.  She said they think it would benefit my son, so he wouldn't rely on one person.  My son has had a tough time with school.  The last few weeks he has been doing better than he ever has... zero meltdowns, working more independently.  I honestly think if he had to change aides now we would be starting over.  I don't possibly see how this can be beneficial for my son. 

Does anyone have a similar experience?  Is there anyting I can do to stop it?  Any information would be greatly appreciated!

by on Jan. 30, 2013 at 3:23 PM
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Replies (1-10):
VioletsMomTown
by on Jan. 30, 2013 at 3:30 PM
1 mom liked this

Oh dear, I understand how you must be feeling, I would be devastated to hear that. Maybe if you can get a doctor or therapist to put on paper that they feel it would be detrimental then you will have something to fall back on. I can see what the school is saying, of course you want the child to be more adaptable, but isn't once a year enough, he would probably have a new aide come September too. I would set up a meeting with school staff and therapists and talk about what the purpose of this is, in more detail, tell them you want to do this before any changes are made.

mcclanto
by Member on Jan. 30, 2013 at 4:05 PM
1 mom liked this

I just wrote the principal an email to set up a time to meet.  I am too upset to call or talk in person at the moment.  He had a different aide last year and will probably have a different one next year.  Changing in the middle of the year is just insane.  My son hates change.  He will probably have behavioral problems for the rest of the year if the change happens.  His current aide is awesome!

My DH plans to go talk to the principal this afternoon.  He is a better talker than me, so maybe he can get something accomplished. 

mommaTLC186
by on Jan. 30, 2013 at 4:10 PM
Sounds like you are getting it under control. I hope things work out as you want them to:)

Quoting mcclanto:

I just wrote the principal an email to set up a time to meet.  I am too upset to call or talk in person at the moment.  He had a different aide last year and will probably have a different one next year.  Changing in the middle of the year is just insane.  My son hates change.  He will probably have behavioral problems for the rest of the year if the change happens.  His current aide is awesome!

My DH plans to go talk to the principal this afternoon.  He is a better talker than me, so maybe he can get something accomplished. 

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TheJerseyGirl
by Michele on Jan. 30, 2013 at 4:56 PM
I have hopeful a great answer for you! My sons aide.... Who will ALWAYS be a true angel in our lives... Retired when he was done almost 2,years ago. When she told me I cried for days, no honestly months... It still gets to me. I thought all the same things would happen to my son that you are afraid would happen to yours. I was sure that NO ONE could fill her shoes. The head of CST promised he'd find a replacement as great as her.

So the Summer after she retired I prepared him for the unknown. But I also promised him that even if his new aide wasn't the same, she would still watch over him and help him all she could.

We are in our second year with her and she is AWESOME! She'd never been an aide to an autistic child and had no experience like our other aide, but she was and still is so wonderful in so many ways. She's so funny and kind and still manages to get him to learn something new everyday. She's also irreplaceable like I thought his first aide would be ... Lol

So I'm saying , trust that they will find a great replacement and give it a chance. As much as our children hate change, we hate change too! If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right? Lol

BUT make sure this won't be something they do frequently. The aide needs to find what works for your son and that takes time. He also needs the time to form a relationship with the aide so he trusts them and knows what they expect.
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mcclanto
by Member on Jan. 30, 2013 at 5:46 PM


My biggest complaint is that they want to change in the middle of the year.  I know from year to year we will have different aides and I'm okay with that. 

Quoting TheJerseyGirl:

I have hopeful a great answer for you! My sons aide.... Who will ALWAYS be a true angel in our lives... Retired when he was done almost 2,years ago. When she told me I cried for days, no honestly months... It still gets to me. I thought all the same things would happen to my son that you are afraid would happen to yours. I was sure that NO ONE could fill her shoes. The head of CST promised he'd find a replacement as great as her.

So the Summer after she retired I prepared him for the unknown. But I also promised him that even if his new aide wasn't the same, she would still watch over him and help him all she could.

We are in our second year with her and she is AWESOME! She'd never been an aide to an autistic child and had no experience like our other aide, but she was and still is so wonderful in so many ways. She's so funny and kind and still manages to get him to learn something new everyday. She's also irreplaceable like I thought his first aide would be ... Lol

So I'm saying , trust that they will find a great replacement and give it a chance. As much as our children hate change, we hate change too! If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right? Lol

BUT make sure this won't be something they do frequently. The aide needs to find what works for your son and that takes time. He also needs the time to form a relationship with the aide so he trusts them and knows what they expect.



TheJerseyGirl
by Michele on Jan. 30, 2013 at 5:55 PM
I don't like the way that sounds but I know whenever mine has a substitute he is absolutely fine with that. I don't know what he'd think if she left on a Wednesday and never came back.

I would ask that they slowly introduce this aide to him and little by little let her share the day or every other day with his original aide. It's only fair to him to get used to this change because its a big one... And it's so important it goes smoothly!


Quoting mcclanto:


My biggest complaint is that they want to change in the middle of the year.  I know from year to year we will have different aides and I'm okay with that. 


Quoting TheJerseyGirl:

I have hopeful a great answer for you! My sons aide.... Who will ALWAYS be a true angel in our lives... Retired when he was done almost 2,years ago. When she told me I cried for days, no honestly months... It still gets to me. I thought all the same things would happen to my son that you are afraid would happen to yours. I was sure that NO ONE could fill her shoes. The head of CST promised he'd find a replacement as great as her.



So the Summer after she retired I prepared him for the unknown. But I also promised him that even if his new aide wasn't the same, she would still watch over him and help him all she could.



We are in our second year with her and she is AWESOME! She'd never been an aide to an autistic child and had no experience like our other aide, but she was and still is so wonderful in so many ways. She's so funny and kind and still manages to get him to learn something new everyday. She's also irreplaceable like I thought his first aide would be ... Lol



So I'm saying , trust that they will find a great replacement and give it a chance. As much as our children hate change, we hate change too! If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right? Lol



BUT make sure this won't be something they do frequently. The aide needs to find what works for your son and that takes time. He also needs the time to form a relationship with the aide so he trusts them and knows what they expect.




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mcclanto
by Member on Jan. 30, 2013 at 10:50 PM
The current plan is for his aide's last day to be Friday. His new aide is brand new and my son will be her first. Though i hope we get to keep his current aide. We will be meeting with the principal and district special education director tomorrow or Fri. I talked to his teacher today and they did not even discuss it with her. She also doesn't think it is a good idea. She can't believe they would do that when he is finally making progress. We plan to do everything we can to prevent it. If we don't get our way in the meeting we plan to consult a special education advocate and attorney. We will file a complaint and try to make the school do what is best for our son.
Mewlan
by on Jan. 31, 2013 at 12:04 AM
3 moms liked this

School districts do most everything for their own convenience.  They also do this ridiculous thing of:  when the child looks good they pull out supports.  It may be something like they have this new person who is interested in working with a child with autism...wow..nice they view your son as a commodity.   And maybe the current aide wants out and they won't tell you that...they are trying to keep the aide happy.   The SD's always use that "dependence thing" so you think, ok that sounds reasonable.  Ugh.  Ignore them.  The fact that this principal is seeking to "change it up" in the middle of the year with NO reasonable period or plan to transition your son to the new aide shows her absolute ignorance of your son and his disability.

So...honestly...I would send a note in writing that you have thought about this over the last few days and you believe that this change will cause your son to lose educational benefit since he will have to adjust to a new aide all over again.  Given that it is ***well-known*** that children with autism spectrum disorder require stability in the total environment including the staff assignments, you are not willing to accept this...since this decision is clearly for the benefit of the school district and not for the education benefit of your son.  You do not consider a transition mid-year with absolutely no attempt to transition him to another aide to be appropriate.  You are not willing to have your son be the testing/learning grounds for a new aide.  And you are shocked...shocked...that anyone there would think that a brief introduction and shifting aides over the weekend is an adequate and appropriate transition for a child with autism spectrum disorder.  You believe the education program is working now with the specific staff in place as part of that program.    SInce the program is working there is no indication that your son, who has the right to a free appropriate public education according to ***HIS*** needs should lose the benefit of continuity of staff, especially mid-year.  If you, Ms. Principal, go ahead with this change and my son begins to lose any education benefit due to meltdowns due to an inexperienced aide, you will file for due process for loss of FAPE.

This has to be in writing.  Use the words loss of FAPE (free appropriate public education) and loss of education benefit due to unnecessary changes that are not agreed to by you, his parent, who is an equal member of the IEP team.    And use the word "inappropriate"  and "does not meet my son's unique needs of his disability, namely for stability."

And seriously, unless you have something in the IEP on the PLOP page that your son is too dependent on specific people and a subsequent goal of your son learning not to depend on specific staff blah blah blah, there is no basis for this change.

This is not ok.  This flies in the face of every ***well-known*** problems and recommendations for providing an appropriate education program and supports for a child with autism spectrum disorder.

Just say no.   NO no no.  If the principal keeps pushing this, then go to the Superintendent in writing.

mcclanto
by Member on Jan. 31, 2013 at 1:30 AM

Thank you!  You wrote some awesome stuff that I will definitely use.


Quoting Mewlan:

School districts do most everything for their own convenience.  They also do this ridiculous thing of:  when the child looks good they pull out supports.  It may be something like they have this new person who is interested in working with a child with autism...wow..nice they view your son as a commodity.   And maybe the current aide wants out and they won't tell you that...they are trying to keep the aide happy.   The SD's always use that "dependence thing" so you think, ok that sounds reasonable.  Ugh.  Ignore them.  The fact that this principal is seeking to "change it up" in the middle of the year with NO reasonable period or plan to transition your son to the new aide shows her absolute ignorance of your son and his disability.

So...honestly...I would send a note in writing that you have thought about this over the last few days and you believe that this change will cause your son to lose educational benefit since he will have to adjust to a new aide all over again.  Given that it is ***well-known*** that children with autism spectrum disorder require stability in the total environment including the staff assignments, you are not willing to accept this...since this decision is clearly for the benefit of the school district and not for the education benefit of your son.  You do not consider a transition mid-year with absolutely no attempt to transition him to another aide to be appropriate.  You are not willing to have your son be the testing/learning grounds for a new aide.  And you are shocked...shocked...that anyone there would think that a brief introduction and shifting aides over the weekend is an adequate and appropriate transition for a child with autism spectrum disorder.  You believe the education program is working now with the specific staff in place as part of that program.    SInce the program is working there is no indication that your son, who has the right to a free appropriate public education according to ***HIS*** needs should lose the benefit of continuity of staff, especially mid-year.  If you, Ms. Principal, go ahead with this change and my son begins to lose any education benefit due to meltdowns due to an inexperienced aide, you will file for due process for loss of FAPE.

This has to be in writing.  Use the words loss of FAPE (free appropriate public education) and loss of education benefit due to unnecessary changes that are not agreed to by you, his parent, who is an equal member of the IEP team.    And use the word "inappropriate"  and "does not meet my son's unique needs of his disability, namely for stability."

And seriously, unless you have something in the IEP on the PLOP page that your son is too dependent on specific people and a subsequent goal of your son learning not to depend on specific staff blah blah blah, there is no basis for this change.

This is not ok.  This flies in the face of every ***well-known*** problems and recommendations for providing an appropriate education program and supports for a child with autism spectrum disorder.

Just say no.   NO no no.  If the principal keeps pushing this, then go to the Superintendent in writing.



Hottubgodess
by Jackie on Jan. 31, 2013 at 12:06 PM
1 mom liked this

Give them writting notice that at this time it would be harmful to change your son's aide.  Request that it be revisited in 3 months.  He needs long term success before focusing on transition issues.  

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