Transitioning to a New Aide – Part Three

In my last two blogs, I discussed my son’s new aide and how we helped with the transition from his old, long-term aide to the new aide.

What’s next to discuss?

The question… When do we get rid of the aide?

Do we know when to get rid of the aide?

Not really, but here’s what we have so far.

My son is now in 6th grade, but when he was in 5th grade, he began to show a desire for independence.

The school and his teacher began to back the aide off at certain times to see how he did. He not only did well, but he expressed an interest to not have an aide someday.

Did we get rid of the aide?

Not yet.

My son did very well with the backed-off aide for the rest of 5th grade.

He began 6th grade with yet another new aide and had a few minor behavioral setbacks. We’ve addressed those setbacks and things are pretty smooth now.

What’s the next step?

The next step has two parts; the rest of 6th grade and the beginning of middle school.

My son’s IEP was in December and the IEP team decided to fully back off the aide during the last half of 6th grade. We’re going to try to remove the aide for half days or even full days to see how he does.

Middle school, however, will be dealt with differently.

What’s our plan for middle school?

To start middle school with an aide.

We decided the middle school transition is simply too overwhelming. There are four times as many students and those students are not familiar with my son, at all. The students with my son now know him, they’re familiar with his “habits.” They’re gentle with him and forgiving.

New kids, especially middle school students, may not be that forgiving.

Plus, the campus is huge.

My son, and us, will be more comfortable beginning middle school with an aide. It’ll help him adjust and simply get around the place. It’ll lesson his anxiety, too.

The IEP team discussed a possible “tailoring” situation where the aide doesn’t necessarily have to be with my son every minute. We were told this is a possibility.

When will we know?

At the IEP, we were told that we’ll get a “transitional IEP” toward the end of the school year. That’s where the elementary school IEP team will meet with someone from the middle school to discuss all the middle school details.

We’ve only laid the groundwork until then.

At least we keep trying to figure out what’s best for our son.

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