I need info on a para for my kindergarden son?
Generally, schools are very reluctant to assign paras. The primary reason is the cost. While a para does not earn as much as a teacher, the school is still paying for the person to work with just one child. In these times of shrinking special ed and general ed budgets, schools have no choice to maximize each dollar. Another reason, although one you won’t hear in lower grades, are for social reasons. Schools will often protest placement of a student with a para on the grounds it will cause the child to “stand out” and may make things difficult socially for the child. This is not the case…a really good para can help a child with social skills and, in older students, should blend in as much as possible.
My suggestions would be to find out if there will be an aide working in the class…many kindergardens have aides simply as part of regular staffing. If that is the case, expect the school to suggest seeing how your child does with just the teacher and the aide. Another option would be to suggest the child sharing the para with another student in the class who needs that type of support. You can also suggest using a para just during subjects and activities that require your son to focus (circle time, working on printing and numbers, etc.). Keep in mind, your son will have to meet the school requirements to have a para, but by offering these compromises, it may increase your chances.
I work at a school with children of ages 3,4 and 5 with special needs. Your child would have to go through quite a bit of testing from the school therapists to determine whether or not he qualifies having a 1/1 aide. It’s not a matter of what you could say at the IEP meeting that would determine whether they assign an aide or not. It really boils down to how he tests. Hope this helps.
If you feel he is suffering from ADD or ADHD then
take your son to a counselor. They will evaluate
him and let you know. I think you are being a good
mother to be concerned. I have worked in the school district as a Title 1 Paraprofessional. What
I do is work with students who are struggling in class. Give your son a chance to do some growing. Keep reading to him and asking him questions about what is happening around him and ask him why they happened. Use complete sentences when talking to him. This will help build his vocabulary and reasoning skills. Above all,
relax. He sounds like a normal healthy boy to me.
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