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Any central NJ parents successful with securing a para for T1 kindergartener?

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by bsurette, Jul 26, 2015.

  1. bsurette

    bsurette New Member

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    Hello, just taking a shot here to see if anyone's been through this,... my son starts K this year and we have initially been denied a para but now have written doctor's orders stating that he needs a 1-1. Has anyone overcome this barrier before? Just looking for info gathering before we start having the tough conversation. thanks.
     
  2. njswede

    njswede Approved members

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    What's a "para"? I have a diabetic kid in a NJ elementary school and we basically get anything we ask for.
     
  3. Lisa - Aidan's mom

    Lisa - Aidan's mom Approved members

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    Para = paraprofessional, usually a teacher's helper in most situations.

    My son was DX'd while in kindergarten, he did not have an aide. His K was in a different building from the nurse, too. The other child in his K grade that was DX'd as an infant did not have a para either. We only had 1/2 day K, which makes a huge difference, since I would feed him lunch at home, administer his insulin and take him to the bus; K was only 2 hours 45 minutes. He would have a small (uncovered) snack with the other children. Do you have full day K in your area?
     
  4. misscaitp

    misscaitp Approved members

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    A para, or paraprofessional, is basically an assistant in the classroom in addition to the classroom teacher. They are generally there when one or multiple students have special needs (learning, behavioral, medical, etc.) that requires a higher level of attention and supervision than one classroom teacher can provide; sometimes in the younger grades they are there just to provide more structure in the day. The reason why it is often denied, even for students that have a serious case for a para or 1:1, is cost--the district has to hire and pay another body that they didn't exactly plan on.

    I'm not in NJ, nor am I a parent, but do you have a 504 plan or IEP in the works? Unfortunately, even if a doctor states he needs a 1:1, while it does certainly help build the argument for one, it doesn't mean that the district has to provide one. What is the school's proposed plan for testing and treating? Is he unable to feel lows and/or highs? I guess what I'm trying to ask, which is also what the school is going to ask: why do you feel that your child needs a 1:1 vs. the school's way of managing it?



    Edit: Just wanted to make it clear that cost alone cannot be the reason for denial of an aide; although, it is one of the factors considered in many districts
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2015
  5. mikegl31

    mikegl31 Approved members

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    I'm from Bergen County. There was another diabetic child in my son's class and he had a 1 to 1 aid assigned to him. Worked out well, because the aid also assisted with my son. We did not request one, however, so I am not sure how that process went. Like njswede, our school gave us basically anything we asked for with no fuss.
     
  6. Theo's dad Joe

    Theo's dad Joe Approved members

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    I worked in the public school system for 12 years. If a child needs 1:1 help for them to safely and effectively attend school based on their legally defined "disability" the school has to provide it. They get federal funds for that.

    I don't, however, see why a kid would need a para non-stop throughout the day when they have classroom teachers who should be able to manage any T1D issue. Teachers need to sign the IEP and need to receive adequate training to manage it. If it is purely for the management of T1D, what is the para going to be doing most of the time? What would they do that a teacher could not do with training at least SOME of the time? You might want to ask that the teacher has an aid at all times, not necessarily required to only deal with your child's T1D issues.
     
  7. njswede

    njswede Approved members

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    Not to nitpick, but you won't necessarily get an IEP for a T1D kid. If there's no need for special ed, you'll get a 504 instead.
     
  8. Sari

    Sari Approved members

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    NJ mom here - Ross was 22 months at diagnosis and we didn't use a Para either. We kept him in daycare to do kindergarten because we liked the teachers there better than the nurse at the public school. Every teacher he has ever had has always been wonderful and accommodating. It was important to us to make Ross not stand out, make him fit in like the rest of the kids. When the time came for Ross to start first grade we sucked it up and dealt with the nurse. It worked out fine (she just wasn't the warm fuzzy type) but if he didn't show up to her office by a certain time she knew to go get him.
     
  9. Theo's dad Joe

    Theo's dad Joe Approved members

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    That's right. In my district we called 504s "ILPs", and to be honest, it was a little confusing because over 80% of IEPs were written up just like ILPs: the students received accommodations and/or procedural modifications but not modifications of content or grades or the level of proficiency that was expected on the course objectives. IOW they were basically kids of normal range of intelligence with a particular disability related to a small portion of their overall intelligence or emotional makeup.

    Oh that reminds me though. I think that if there is a severe emotional issue the student can qualify for the ILP, just in case that matters for anyone who might read through this thread. I think part of the advantage in an ILP is that the district has to provide the school with additional teacher hours based on the number of ILPs

    And lastly (for now) I am pretty sure that the DISTRICT, not the school is responsible for meeting the student's needs regarding ILPs and IEPs. The school principal may decide how the needs are met (with a teacher or para or other staff). My son goes to a charter school and the district is responsible for all medical related staffing issues whether 504, IEP or otherwise.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2015
  10. Beach bum

    Beach bum Approved members

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    Is it full day kindergarten?
    Not from NJ, but I know some people who have had paras because they do all day kindergarten and there is not a nurse on staff. The para is there to help the child throughout the day and monitor dosing. I also knew of some kids that had the classroom aid and office staff be the go to person for everything diabetes.

    There are also some here who have had paras and have had to fight for them, while others have been granted them with no problems. We were always lucky in our case as we had FT nurses on staff.
     
  11. susanlindstrom16

    susanlindstrom16 Approved members

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    My daughter started in Pre-K 4 at a NJ public school 4 months after dx. We did not have a 1 to 1, but the pre-k class had a full time aide- she was not there specifically for my daughter, but she was the one who walked her to the nurses office for all her checks/ shots since it was in another building. She went to kindergarten at a different school (charter school) but her class there also had an aide. Maybe all kindergarten classes in NJ have both a teacher and an aide, I'm not sure. If its a bigger school, i would think you could request to have your child placed in the class where the aide was (if there was only 1).
     
  12. Supermansmommy

    Supermansmommy New Member

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    I am currently involved in this issue myself with our school system. My 5 yo son is to start Kindergarten in Sept and we are already in litigation with the school for not honoring Doctor's Orders for 1:1. My son is not symptomatic and drops quickly to lows of 39 without showing clear signs. He was diagnosed at 15 months and knows nothing but Diabetes. We have been told paras cannot test his sugar and they feel their set up is "good enough." Keeping in mind, my son was classified by the child study team for pre-k with disabilities, and for the past 2.5 yrs has had a 1:1 nurse with him given by the school system. I am very upset that I have to choose between my doctors orders and my school's opinion. Any info or advice from others would be greatly appreciated.
     

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