Student without aide for class?

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by BumbleB, Sep 1, 2013.

  1. BumbleB

    BumbleB Habitué

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    I have a student in class who is in a wheelchair and has a one-to-one aide all day. She is integrated into general education classes, including my inclusion language arts class. We have a block class, and this student's aide leaves for half of the block because it's the only time she can have lunch. That leaves the student without an aide for half of a writing intensive class.

    Now, I co-teach so theoretically one of us could help this student while the other teaches. But that is shortchanging the whole class in general. If I'm working exclusively with this student, I'm not available for my other students who have special needs. Also, I'm not an aide. I don't have the training on this student's specific needs. Even though I spent a few years working with kids in wheelchairs, if she needed to use the restroom, I don't know if it would be appropriate for me to change her...and honestly, I'm probably very out of practice even if I were expected to do that.

    I'm just wondering if there is some sort of legality issue with leaving her "alone" for half of the block. I plan to bring this up to my P, but I wanted some "ammo" in case she is reluctant to change this.
     
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  3. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I would think her IEP specifies an all-day aid.
     
  4. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Why can't the aid have lunch when the child does? I assume because the child needs assistance during lunch as well?
     
  5. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    Many of my students IEPs specify the number of hours per day (which includes a lunch break) OR states full day aide (except for 1/2 hour lunch).

    Sometimes it will not be included but it is kept in mind when scheduling.

    If this student requires bathroom assistance, it's definitely something you should check into.

    I would maybe check in to see if there is another aide (paid/classified with personal care assistance) available to help during the 1:1's lunc time.

    Let me tell you this is an incredibly difficult area to work around within special Ed. The aides also require a thirty minute lunch break, but they're not going to hire someone to work thirty minutes a day. So, you have to work with the current staffing available. Very tricky!
     
  6. futureteach24

    futureteach24 Companion

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    Can you ask the aide first. Just to give her the benefit of the doubt before going to your P. That might escalate the situation unnecessarily and you do have to work with this person. You say it's writing intensive. Is it notes? I know for some of my SSD students I am required to give them notes as needed. This might help.
     
  7. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Since writing is difficult for the child, is there no modifications for them to use some sort of technology to help with written assignments?
     
  8. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I don't think this has anything to do with the aide in terms of her not working as she should. I don't think, then, there is any reason the aide would feel upset if this problem is addressed. It's a scheduling/admin issue.
     
  9. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    If you have other sped aides at your school, one of them should be assigned to cover the 1-1 position when she goes to lunch or is absent.
     
  10. bison

    bison Habitué

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    Yep, this. If the student's IEP specifies that they need a 1:1 aide, someone should be covering them at all times.
     
  11. BumbleB

    BumbleB Habitué

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    It says she gets a 1:1 aide in her IEP, but says this under a section where designating the "minutes" is not required. Grr.

    The student CAN write. However, she really only has the stamina for a few words and she can only write in big, scrawling letters that are hard to read. She is allowed to use an AlphaSmart to compose, but again, she works very slowly. When I say, "writing intensive", I mean that we often do notes but also activities that require reading and reflection in the form of written answers. My school is all about "evidence" of learning, so we are encouraged to include a lot of writing in our lessons.

    My main concern is the bathroom issue. Since I am her teacher, I don't feel comfortable participating in that activity.
     
  12. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Sped teachers here are involved in toileting procedures just as much as aides/paras. With that said, I do understand your hesitation. I'm not aware of any legal backing you might be able to use, but sharing your concerns with your admin is definitely a good idea. I hate to say this, but sometimes we have to hope that our worries will come true just so that admin will actually listen and make changes.
     
  13. BumbleB

    BumbleB Habitué

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    Well yes, I would have no problem if my job description was solely working with moderate/severe disabilities. However, I'm an intervention specialist for students with mild disabilities and I spend my day co-teaching inclusion classes. I would just find it odd (for all parties involved) for me to leave the general education classroom to do that. As this is not part of my job description, I have no training from the school district on performing these types of activities.

    It hasn't come up yet, but my fear is that she'll need to "go" and there will be no one trained to help her.
     
  14. bros

    bros Phenom

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    If it says she gets a 1:1 aide in her IEP and minutes are listed, I would assume that the aide is to be there for the entirety of the day without fail.

    Could you give the student notes, so they can focus completely on paying attention to listening & learning?
     
  15. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    Another response and mine suggested that another sped aide should be covering the 1-1 during breaks. The reason I'm reiterating that point is because not only does the child have a right to having an aide, but your district probably has that policy set in place, all you have to do is request one of your other school sped aides during that period.
     
  16. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    This is how it works in my district, too. Elementary may be different than middle and high, but we don't schedule the same para to work with a specific student all day long. If a student requires constant para support, we schedule multiple paras to trade on and off all day long. This allows the student to always be supervised and the paras to get their lunches and breaks. It also prevents burnout that a para may feel after working with the same student for too long.

    I agree that you should speak with your admin about other scheduling options.
     
  17. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

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    I agree with the above posters that covering an aide's break is very difficult at times.

    Since there is a co-teacher in there with you, she IS technically covered. But I see how this takes away from other students.

    How is the child's cognitive functioning? If she is is not delayed, then her only issue is the fine motor. There are many ways to work around that, including giving her notes, scribing for her (time-consuming!), and using ipads or keypads.

    If she is cognitively delayed, she may need modified instruction and assignments if the typical classwork is far beyond her instructional level. Either way, you or your co-teacher will have to provide that.

    As for bathrooming, in our school, it's the job of aides AND teachers. Nobody likes it, but it has to be done somehow.
     
  18. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Same here. There is no training for it, and it doesn't matter if you work with mild, moderate, or severe students. We all have to do it when necessary.
     
  19. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    This must vary by school. In my district, it's not the policy for teachers to handle bathroom issues unless they have been specifically trained. Most teachers, even most special ed teachers, do not have that training. The ones who do are the ones who teach in self-contained classrooms with students who cannot handle bathroom issues on their own. Even then, the district "preference" is that an aide handle bathroom issues so that the teacher can remain with the rest of the class.
     
  20. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I would struggle with working with students and their bathroom needs. I like cases in which those people with the heart for that are the ones doing it opposed to someone uncomfortable with it.
     
  21. BumbleB

    BumbleB Habitué

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    We do not have many aides in the school. Maybe three total. In fact, my student is the only student in the building (MH room included) in a wheelchair. However, I agree that she has the right to have an aide that she feels comfortable with at all times. I will see what my admin says about coverage during the aide's lunch break. Thanks :)

    My student has the same para all day long. It would make more sense to rotate, because I can see the potential for burnout. I will talk with my admin about this issue. Thanks for your help!

    Her fine/gross motor is affected as well as her cognitive functioning. She often forgets important things (such as the name of her aide that has worked with her for years), which hints at a long-term memory issue. She also only really gives "yes" or "no" as answers, but that may be due to breath support/speech issues more than cognitive functioning.

    Because it's the beginning of the year, we haven't gotten into too much "content" yet where I could see what needs to be modified. So far, we've been letting her write a little bit and scribing the rest. I just want her to get the help she needs without sacrificing the needs of the rest of the class, you know? She should be able to have support whenever she wants/needs it, but when there is no aide there, that's not always possible. It's just a bad situation all around.

    This is the situation in my school as well. However, my student is the only student in the building who requires full toileting support, so I don't know how many people are actually trained.

    When I worked with children who have multiple disabilities in a residential setting, I had to be trained on proper lifting/changing procedures. We were warned that serious injury can occur to both child and caretaker if not done properly, so we needed to have extensive training before attempting to change anyone.
     
  22. BumbleB

    BumbleB Habitué

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    I wanted to say thank you to all of you who have provided advice/support so far. I will bring this up with my P this week and hopefully we can come to some sort of resolution that benefits everyone :)
     
  23. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

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    I don't think anyone has the heart for diaper changes. It's something that comes with the job and has to be done. Nobody likes it, I'm sure.
     
  24. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Oh, I disagree. I think there are many people who want to be the kind soul to care for these students in a way that best respects their dignity. I changed diapers for elderly residents in a nursing home...while it was a difficult job, I had the heart for it at that time in my life. It wasn't just part of the job. I wanted to do it the best I could for the residents in a way, again, respectful to them as grown adults.
     
  25. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    If the student does need to be in your class without an aide, ask the aide if her toileting needs can be taken care of before the aide's lunch break. When I worked on the schedules for our aides' break schedules, we always worked around the personal care needs of the students.
     
  26. BumbleB

    BumbleB Habitué

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    Just an update, I talked to my P today and got some things sorted out. Although we can't get someone to cover the aide's lunch, we did find some assistive technology for my student that will make it easier for her to participate without constant teacher support. My P said that if she needs to use the restroom, the aide would have to be pulled from lunch. I spoke with the aide and she said that they're on a "schedule" and she spaces breaks so that my student shouldn't need one while she's gone.

    Overall, I feel better. I just want the student to feel included and comfortable, and I think we are doing what we can to reach that goal.

    Thank you all again for your advice!
     
  27. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Excellent! I have a feeling this student will thrive emotionally with you. It will be one of the few places where she will be as independent as she can be.
     
  28. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Thanks for the update, Bumble! Sounds like it'll be good for the student and you!
     

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