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Quick Helps: One-to-one aide

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                            Quick Helps: one-to-one aide                                               



While at first glance it appears that the 1:1 aide is there for the student, in reality the 1:1 aide is there as support for the teacher.  And while reference is made to a 1:1 aide the more accurate title is paraprofessional.  Why?  For two reasons…


1)  1:1 is a lay term for paraprofessional.  A paraprofessional is defined in No Child Left Behind at 20 U.S.C. 6319(c) as an individual who has completed at least two years of study at an institution of higher education; obtained an associate's (or higher) degree; met a rigorous standard of quality and can demonstrate, through a formal State or local academic assessment -- knowledge of, and the ability to assist in instructing, reading, writing, and mathematics; or knowledge or, and the ability to assist in instructing, reading readiness, writing readiness, and mathematics readiness, as appropriate.


2)      It is the teacher who is providing instruction to the child.  At 20 U.S.C. 6319(g) No Child Left Behind goes on to state that a paraprofessional "may not provide any instruction to a student unless the paraprofessional is working under the direct supervision of a teacher…"  A paraprofessional is one of the supplementary aids and services or program supports that the teacher can utilize to support the child in receiving educational benefit as designated in the child’s IEP.


The paraprofessional works with the teacher so the student can maintain participation in the regular education environment and be educated in the general education classroom.  The IEP team will want to discuss the following regarding a paraprofessional (1:1 aide) as a supplementary aid and service, program support, or related service:


What is expected of a general education student in the regular education environment and classroom?


In comparison which areas are problematic for this student?


What accommodations, modifications, adaptations, assistive technology, compensations,


related services, supplementary aids and services, individualization*, would be appropriate to support the student in receiving educational benefit in the regular education classroom and environment?


If the team members express concerns about how the child may be negatively impacted by the presence of the paraprofessional it is also important for the team to discuss how the child may be negatively impacted without the presence of a paraprofessional. In other words, there may be concerns about the student looking different, being isolated from peers, or being dependent. However, a child can also run the risk of looking different, being isolated from peers, and being dependent when they do not have grade level academics and age appropriate functional skills.


With the guidance of the general education teacher, the team will want to outline the specific role of the paraprofessional in supporting the student and the teacher based on the child’s unique needs. The team will also want to discuss and write goals to phase out the paraprofessional in relation to the needs of the student. There should be concurrent goals and/or behavior plan in place to support the child, with appropriate supplementary aids and services, to help the student receive educational benefit, achieve grade level academics, and age appropriate functional skills.


For more information:


*individualization refers to changes in the curriculum, adaptations to the delivery of instruction, different instructional methods

educational benefit- considered to encompass academics, socialization, increased self-esteem and communication skills, increased functional skills, role modeling


(c)  2006  Claudia Lowe, B.S., J.D.      Educational Strategist & Consultant

(c)  2006     Claudia Lowe, B.S., J.D.       Educational Strategist & Consultant

Information provided on this site and all other communications produced by Claudia Lowe, J.D., SENC is for educational purposes only and not to be considered legal or medical advice or recommendations.