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Can a parent insist on teacher training or the hiring of staff with specific LD expertise? There are nearly 100 ASD children in the county I live in. The only ASD specific instruction these children have is one autism consultant! This person is only here for suggestions. Clearly, a ratio of 1:100 is absurd!

How can any of those children be benefiting from that? Can I demand my child get one-on-one time on a daily basis with someone who has specific training in dealing with ASD children?


Dear Heather,

Parents can ask for anything, but schools are not obligated to provide services or staff just because the parent asks. From what you describe, it seems likely that the program, services and staffing levels in your district are inadequate. However, whether in relation to a specific child or the group as a whole, it would be necessary to demonstrate that the child or children are not receiving a free appropriate public education based on inadequate availability of staff or intensity of services.

There is no specific formula or rule for determining whether a child should receive a 1:1 aide — this is decided on a case by case basis. Generally, it is based on the child’s need for direct supervision either for safety, health, or behavioral reasons or because the child requires a level of intensity of instruction that can only be accomplished 1:1.

Unless the school agrees that this is needed, you will need to prove why it is needed, based on the lack of success without additional support, evidence of greater success with 1:1 support and/or clinical evaluations which document why 1:1 is needed.

Schools are required to consider your input and that of outside evaluators, but are not obligated to follow that input. If you reach an impasse with the school, you have a right to request a due process hearing to challenge the inadequacy of the school’s program.

Note from LD OnLine: Many people confuse autism and learning disabilities. They are different disabilities. See the section on autism in Learning Disabilities: An Overview.

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