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My son has ADHD, PDD-NOS, he is now in 2nd grade. Last year, he was in a mainstream education class with pull out for math and reading. Due to his inattention and behaviors in his afternoon class, they put him in a self-contained class this year for more one-on-one. I feel he is being held back. He is grade appropriate for learning just lack of attention and focus.

Is it his right through IDEA to recieve a private classroom aide to asst him, instead of being secluded in self contained? Or is this a personal decision made by the school as to whether or not they will provide it?


Dear Sandy,

Your question relates to whether your child has a right to a one-to-one aide to assist him in the classroom as an alternative to being placed in a self-contained classroom. Under the IDEA, the decision about whether a child should receive an aide in order to be educated in the least restrictive environment is an individualized decision made by the IEP team with the participation of the parents, as are all other decisions about special education placement and related services.

If it can be shown that the student can function successfully in the regular classroom with the provision of an aide, whether one-to-one or a classroom aide, there would be a basis for the school to provide this service. If they refuse to do so and the parent can prove that the child does require the aide in order to function in the regular ed classroom, but can do so with the aide, this could be a basis for a due process hearing. The parent should consult with a knowledgeable special education advocate or attorney to determine whether there is sufficient documentation to support this position.

Conversely, it should be clear that the child does not have a right to a one-to-one aide for their child in a regular ed classroom just because they prefer that setting. If the IEP team is able to demonstrate that placement in a self-contained classroom is educationally necessary and the least restrictive environment to meet the child’s needs, they may make that decision.

In a due process hearing, if they are able to successfully defend that position, the desire for an aide would not be upheld. Again, this is a child and fact specific assessment. In order for you to assess whether you have a sufficient basis to prove the need for an aide in regular education, you should consult with a knowledgeable advocate or attorney.

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