1:1 Aids in school | Autism PDD


Aids can be good to help in classrooms on stuff the child didn't understand from the teacher. I feel Se all day can be great also less kids and more staff. We did this last year with Daniel at age 10 he went from reading at 2.8 to 5th grade level in that year. I saw lots more multisensory teaching in that class also. The main issue with Daniel now is improveing his comprehension level. Why not do homeschooling while he's at home for now.  

Hi there,

As a mum of an autistic child - and a teacher - I would suggest that if you feel your child could benefit from the assistance of an aide, I would push the school as hard as I could for some support.

I know how difficult it is to get an aide, we are in the process of applying for support for our son (he starts school next year), but I think you need to go with your gut feeling and do what you can for your child.

Don't let the school or teacher talk you out of it by saying - "we'll see how it goes".  Evidence has shown that most kids with autism learn differently to the average child, and they need support... not only with the learning, but from a teachers perspective, more so with the social development.

Keep advocating for your child - and best of luck!



That was on Friday of last week. By this Monday, the teacher was rehired. The school board admins. were up at the school when I dropped off our youngest son as well. 


By 4 pm, this past Tuesday night, my husband and myself were in a conference call with the pentagon, the special education coordinator for our schools, and another lady from the Pentagon. We had to explain our reasons for concerns and why I am homeschooling with his 2 ABA aides as well.

By the time our call was done- which was a 1 hr. and 45 min. call- it was set in stone that a rep from the pentagon will be at our IEP meeting next Thursday!

My oldest ds had an aid for the first two years of preschool because he was a run away risk.  The classroom was 1 teacher 2 paras, 10 kids all different diagnosis (only two were on the spectrum) and then his aid.  I think the aid helped in calming him down until they could really get him in control.  We noticed that before this school year with working on it we were able to get him out of the harness for the bus and we worked on more independence by doing a 1:2 aide and then an extra aide on standby if they needed it.  This year he is an self-contained autism class that is a k-2 class.  So far it is a pretty good ratio of 1 teacher and 2 paras to 6-8 kids.  The one hour a day we are trialing in mainstream kindergarten he gets an aide.  So I guess if you can prove neccesity they will provide it.  Also I don't believe that because a child has an aide it limits their independence.  An aide is there to help prevent behaviors, running away, and to be a safety net to your child.  I would be questioning other motives for why they wouldn't want to give you the aide.  I know we had to fight for ours the second year of preschool because they felt he didn't need it.  Which was also wehn he let all of the kids out of their seatbelts on the bus and took off out of the classroom making them chase him. 


DS also got an aide for middle school.  Because of DS behavior, aide needed to be close by in hallways and at lunch.  DS had the same aide for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade. Originally the school wanted to state access to an aide.  Access to an aide was not specific enough that means at any time, someone, somewhere, in the building would be available to help him.  The IEP was written to state that an aide must be present in each class. Because of repeated behavior problems, the school was good about having another person fill in if aide was absent. 


Now, in 9th grade we are back to access to an aide. DS is not getting the same support that he needs.  DS also is not doing his part either.  Now someone just checks on him in each class and then leaves to check on someone else.  I asked the school about rewriting the IEP and they said no.  Something about making the school system look bad with so many kids having 1:1 aides.   DS is just not motivated and/or capable to handle the demands of school.

Adam has never had an aide. infact, in our district, no one with autism has ever had an aide.  It is just not something they approve.  He had a pass to leave the room if things get too tuff for him, and his teachers check his assignment notebook after each class.  We have as many supports in class as we can ask of the teacher.  And the classes he can't keep up in are done in the Spec Ed Room.

Side note:  Karen, again, Adam and Connor are so much alike.  He thinks home work stinks too.  Big problem in our house.    

Ou school district preschool provides aides to the class, not for individuals. There were 2 aides and 1 teacher in a class of 8 (up to 12 kids allowed). 3 kids were typical peers. We acutally are using an autism scholarship through the district to help fund his ABA so we are not allowed to use the SD preschool if we take the money. My son goes to a typical preschool and we send one of our VB/ABA tutors as his shadow. She really doesn't get that involved too often. She is now taking data and intervening only when neccesary. I don't feel he is too dependent on her.

My son didn't have a diagnosis in pre-school, so he didn't have an aide.  He has had an aide ever since 1st grade, though.  It is essential for him and for the class' learning environment that he has an extra adult assigned to him.

He has not become dependent on his aide, but it is a fine line between meeting his needs and going easy on him.  His aide taught him to zip his jacket, so he can be more independent.  However, his aide and special ed teacher didn't prioritize giving him responsibility for his own pencil case, and just had a basket of supplies ready for him, so in that area he was less independent.

Here are the resources I've found about aides:

http://home.san.rr.com/autismnet/preshadow.html - an article by an autism mom, about how to shadow a child with autism

http://www.uvm.edu/~mgiangre/paraprofessional.html - includes links to various articles about the pros and cons of paraprofessionals

Good luck with everything.

We are fighting to get an aid for our son in preschool.  We feel he needs a 1:1 or 1:2 to help him navigate play and peer interactions.  I am wondering if most Autistic/pdd kids have aids.  And if you child has an aid does it help.  The school is telling us he will become to dependent on the aid and it will hurt him.  We feel the lack of interaction that he will not get unless he has an aid is worse for him in the long run.   Just wondering what others experience has been


Mom of 4-   3yr old with pdd-nos dx

I'm wondering the same.  We found a preschool for DD which we love.  It took forever for us to find one that I thought was right for us.  They are open to the idea of us getting an aid but wanted to see how she does without one first.  Next week or so I think we are going to get together and talk about having an aid with her to help her interact. 

im finding it impossible to get one for my son in evenstart, hes almost 3, and theyve given them before.

as to the* school is telling us he will become to dependent on the aid and it will hurt him * that doesnt sound individualized to me, but if you have to compromise or make them feel better you could always go at it as i think he needs an aide 'for now' until he can learn to interact on his own, and with gains we can work on weaning him away from the aide gradually -  when he meets the iep goals and shows hes ready? also, do you know anyone else his age with similar defecits or disorder that has had an aide? it may not work but i always like the ada of 1190 which states what you do for one you must do for another - because noone wants to discriminate! just keep in mind the school system will almost never want to pay for an aide, and it may come down to not getting one, but schedule a new iep to check progress within 3 months to rediscuss whether an aide is appropriate, if hes not making gains you could then come at it as an aide would be helpful, but since he is not making the gains wed expected and listed on his iep and you didnt think an aide would be a good idea, maybe we should now look at appropriate education and the private sector. thus, giving you a bargaining chip for the aide. an aides alot cheaper then their paying for private school.

just my thought. best of wishes and luck and let us know how it goes.

My son has had ABA since he was 2.5yrs and when he started typical
preschool at 4 1/2 he had a 1:1 ABA therapist as his aide. For my son to
have the benefits in regards to academics, socialization and behavioral
modeling, he needed appropriate supports to make sure he was able to
meet the demands of preschool. His 1:1 helped him in assisting with
comprehension of task direction, redirection to task when he was non
compliant or distracted, maintain clear and firm limits and managing
behavior when my son would test. My son needed support in expressing
his ideas, social interactions. We needed the shadow so my son could
function effectively and experience success in the preschool setting. Our
ultimate goal was enrolling our son in a typical Kindergarten.

My sons teacher is the one to teach. The aide is there only for support,
should he need it. A highly trained and skilled aide is what you need.
My son is not dependent on his aide. The ABA therapist has helped him
get ready for the demands of Kindergarten.

I wanted to also add that an aide/therapist trained by an NPA is going to
be your most effective aide. That therapist goes to all team meetings and
is trained and supervised by a BCBA. That aide should be there to take
data on how your child is doing within the classroom. If you have a
poorly trained aide or an aide who does not know how to fade back in
and out , there should be concern that your child will become dependent
on the aide.KathyK39375.376099537

My son did 2 years of SpEd preschool in classes with 8 kids, 1 teacher and 2 aides.  He didn't have a 1:1 aide.  We put him in mainstream kindy and he did have a 1:1 aide.  It went ok, but he did become pretty dependent on his aide and it was an issue we worked on throughout the school year.  This year, we chose to put him in a SpEd 1st grade, 6 kids, 1 teacher, 1 aide, though theoretically there could be up to 12 in the class by law.  We didn't want him to have an aide this year and one of our big goals for this year is independent functioning in the class.  So far it's going great.

I think a 1:1 aide can be great for a child, and every situation is different, but a child becoming overly dependent on an aide is a real concern (and not just something schools come up with as an excuse to not give you one).  One of the areas really impaced by the dependence is social skills.  Example:  in kindy the kids would sit at small tables to do projects.  The kids would often talk to each other, or ask each other what to do next.  My son however, would only look to his aide for guidance, which limited his interactions with the other kids.  We had a good aide, and she was cognizant of this and worked toward helping him be more independent, but he was very attached to her and would rather interact with her than the other kids.

If you think you need an aide, by all means fight for it.  And not all kids will become dependent on an aide - that shouldn't be a blanket reason for a no for all kids.  However, in our case, my son is better off in a SpEd class with no aide then a larger class with an aide, at least for this year!  At the end of the year we'll reevaluate the whole situation again...


We are fighting to get an aid for our son in preschool.  We feel he needs a 1:1 or 1:2 to help him navigate play and peer interactions.  I am wondering if most Autistic/pdd kids have aids.  And if you child has an aid does it help.  The school is telling us he will become to dependent on the aid and it will hurt him.  We feel the lack of interaction that he will not get unless he has an aid is worse for him in the long run.   Just wondering what others experience has been


Mom of 4-   3yr old with pdd-nos dx


You can have it written into the IEP that your son has an aide for certain activities or 1:1 all the time. Just make sure they include the minutes that the aide will spend with your child (you have it written in the same place they put minutes for ST and OT) as that is what really holds the power for how much 1:1 aide you get.

I'm struggling with getting my dd an aide who has had training. Her first aide this year although very nice was totally clueless.  She got a new aide last week, when I asked the principal if she had any training the said "Her grandson is autistic!"  I don't think any of them has the first clue. My son has had a 1:1 aid since the 3rd grade, and there has never been an issue of him becoming too dependent on his aide.  He is in 8th grade now, and is very socially conscious of his special ed status, and abhors anything that draws attention to the fact that he receives some special ed services.  His aide blends into the class, serving mostly as a classroom aide, who quietly makes sure he is staying organized.  Sometimes, though, she is too hands off.  He's been skipping his homework assignments in a few classes, because he thinks "homework sucks".  He pulled the same thing last year near the beginning of the school year, and it didn't work then either!  That is one thing we have noticed about him:  It takes him two to three times of making the same mistake before he learns not to do it again... You might look into Head Start.  They gave my 3 year old son an aide without me even asking for one.  I've been quite thrilled with our aide and Head Start.  They treat my son almost like a VIP! 

We are in a HUGE battle right now with our son's school over an 1:1 for him. He did 3 years at a private ABA schhol and now he is in a school on the military post.  He needs help staying foccused on work, he is a runner, he also has a breathing tube as well for his other conditions.


There is no teacher right now- she quit. There are three aides. Only one of them signs.  Our school is saying it doesnt matter what we bring into the IEP meeting- they will not give him an aide.  It is not only for the autism that he needs one BUT he needs one for his other issues-- he chokes easily on food, etc.


The battle is on-- he is out of school now pending the IEP meeting in November!

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