Son's Personal Aide Quit

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by CookiesKid, Nov 5, 2007.

  1. CookiesKid

    CookiesKid New Member

    I found out today that my 6 year old son's personal classroom aide has resigned. She'll be here until the end of the week and then she's gone. Apparently she was not happy with me and the things I've been writing in our "communication notebook". I have written tips and ideas about how to deal with certain issues that my son is having at school in the notebook because I have information that the teachers don't have. I know how to handle certain situations with him and thought they'd want this information. The communication notebook is a two way communication, so I've been "communicating".

    I always made sure to thank the aide and the teachers for their hard work with my son before I wrote anything. And I always revised my comments before writing them in the notebook because I was aware that written words can be misinterpreted. But I guess she took the things I wrote personally instead of just taking them as helpful information. I guess she didn't think that we appreciated her hard work. But we really did appreciate her and everything she's done for our son. But she's leaving and I have no idea who will be replacing her. The principal didn't sound very hopeful that he'd be able to replace her with anyone as good as her.

    Part of me feels awful that this happened and the other part of me is glad because she was learning on the job. She had no experience or training to work with special needs children. This is our first experience with aides so I don't have anything to compare it to. The principal told me that the school doesn't have the money to hire the kind of aide that I want and that maybe my son should be in a different place if that's what he needs (ie: a Special Education kindergarten). I told him that wasn't going to happen and why.

    Has this ever happened to anyone else? I'd love to hear your thoughts. Thanks.
  2. I'm going crazy!!!

    I'm going crazy!!! New Member

    I don't have a personal aide for my son but last year was his first year in kindergarten and he is repeating this year and i got the teacher i requested which was my kindergarten teacher but anyway last year he had the most horrible teacher for a special needs child and the principle basically said that he expected the kids to come to school and just know how to act anyway once they saw that he responded to me pretty well just over the phone they decided to straighten up and we also have a special section from our county school board that i called and got them to send their behavioral specialist out there maybe you can check with the school board and see what they can offer i hate for you to go above the priciple's head but if s/he is being difficult then maybe that's just what you need to do but please try and work it out with the principle first because going over his head could cause you more problems in the long run don't know how helpful this was but it's my thoughts
  3. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I think it's great that you had a communication notebook - what better way to stay in touch and try to all be working towards the same goals? It was probably her inexperience in working that way that led her to feel attacked rather than assisted by you (being that you know your son best and can advocate for him since he's only 6!). I also think that you're correct about some things being misinterpreted - very often that's the case!

    I also see that the principal has given you an "opening". By admitting that his school cannot offer your son the type of aide he needs, this could be an opportunity for your son to be placed in a better school which CAN offer the aide he needs at the SD's cost. I would look into that and perhaps even lay that idea on the table. He may change his tune if he thinks you're going to take this matter to hearing. You can contact your state's student advocate office and seek some advice from them as well. Are there other schools in or near your area that my be better for your son?

    I definitely would not feel bad that the para quit over this. Protocol would have been for her to request a meeting with you first to discuss the comments that sent her over the edge. A third party would have been included so there were no opportunities for miscommunication. Her quitting like that, in my opinion, was unprofessional and only served to show her lack of judgement working with special needs children.
  4. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    No matter how hard you try, some people are just overly sensitive.

    The sd can't use lack of funds as a reason not to provide FAPE to your child.

    In order to ensure that related services, including transportation, are provided in accordance with a child’s IEP, it is important that the providers be appropriately trained to provide these accommodations, modifications and supports.

    Related services from wrightslaw @

    From a school district attorney's website:

    "...Once a student has been determined eligible for 504 or special education, the committee’s attention shifts to services. Here, districts sometimes face the battle of parents who are
    entrenched in beliefs that a particular device (a computer with voice recognition software, for example) is essential for FAPE and must be provided at no cost to parents. (See, for
    example, Alief (TX) ISD, 17 IDELR 770 (OCR 1991)(parents unsuccessfully demand computer with voice recognition where data supports finding that other services and devices are appropriate); Letter to Anonymous, 29 IDELR 1089 (OSEP 1997)(parent letter to President Clinton asking how the parent can get federal funds for a computer).

    It is important to recognize that the cost of a device or the difficulty of providing a particular service are of no concern to federal law. If the service or device is necessary for FAPE, expense or inconvenience does not matter. Note that OCR has seriously chastised schools where the decision about what services or devices to provide to eligible students is made on the basis of cost and convenience rather that on the basis of proper FAPE considerations."
  5. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    I would suggest that you cover what you can before the start of the school year. I used a chart going through each of the main areas (speech, behavior, sensory, fine motor, etc) outlining what most likely potential problems would be and describing ways I'd found to help them. ie under Speech/Hyperlexia have a column that states he has difficulty with changes in daily routines and in the suggestion column suggest written advance notice for changes in schedule. That way the teacher and aide (copies to Occupational Therapist (OT), speech, and principal) were getting the same info up front.

    I do think there are times that a parent will be giving suggestions as how to handle situations but it shouldn't take up the majority of the communications. If it is constant and ongoing then I could see how it could easily become frustrating to an aide. Was he having that many problems that the aide wasn't able to get used to dealing with them on her own?
  6. CookiesKid

    CookiesKid New Member

    Thank you everyone for all of your replies and advice. It is very much appreciated. I am still feeling a combination of sadness and anger this morning, but after sleeping on it I realized that there are several factors that led to the aide quitting. Everyone involved can learn plenty from this and move forward, and that's what I intend to do.

    I found out yesterday at our meeting that the school has finally gotten the behavioral specialist involved, and she's apparently been quite helpful. But they really should have sought her help sooner, for their own sake as well as for my son's. I'm just glad that they finally asked for her assistance and that she's been helpful.

    I am going to look into alternative placements for my son so that I will have some choices. I can't make any informed decisions without knowing the alternatives. So, I've got some work to do.

    Thank you for reminding me of the law. Thank goodness for the Special Education laws we have now. Where would we be without them?

    Things at school are going to get interesting now because the aide's last day will be Friday. Right now I have no idea who my son's aide will be after that. The principal warned me that there will probably be "substitute" aides until he can hire someone else. That should be interesting. I will do my best to keep an open mind and stay positive. Who knows? Maybe this will all turn out to be a good thing in the long run. Thanks again, everyone.
  7. Anna1345

    Anna1345 New Member

    Boy that is sad. However, I wouldn't worry too much about it or feel bad. She has to learn sometime and if dealing with it in real life vs. in a text book is too much for her to handle, then perhaps she is in the wrong profession. Dealing with these types of children, as we all know, is VERY challenging and a constant struggle. When teachers learn that working with the parent, instead of against them, helps the child, then things will go way more smoothly. I hope they get a more experienced aid in for the classroom!
  8. CookiesKid

    CookiesKid New Member

    Thanks Anna! I appreciate your words of support. I have no idea what's going to happen as far as a new aide, but I'm hoping for the best. We'll just have to move forward and make the best of whatever happens.