In my previous blog, I discussed inclusion students, the aides that sometimes support them, and how a teacher can incorporate an inclusion aide into their classroom. I discussed how teachers should broker a reasonable working relationship with an inclusion aide.
I will continue with my discussion about how a teacher can work with and incorporate an inclusion aide in their classroom.
What can a teacher expect from the inclusion student?
I haven’t discussed this aspect yet, but the typical inclusion student has other supports in place according their IEP. For example, an inclusion student may have appointments that they have to attend. They may have a speech therapy session, an OT session, or even a physical therapy session as part of their weekly schedule.
This means that inclusion student will need to leave your classroom at certain times. These sessions are dictated by the needs of the speech therapist, the OT, and the physical therapist which should include the teacher’s scheduling needs and all of it must follow the child’s IEP.
Hopefully, the speech teacher, for example, will consult with you as to optimal times/days when a student can leave for a half an hour session. Or, at least, you can provide times when you would prefer that student remain in class for instruction.
If a time is not ideal, hopefully it can be amended so it works out better for both parties.
What happens to the aide during this time?
There are different scenarios. When my son was young, we didn’t feel he could take himself to his speech therapy, plus we felt we wanted the aide in the speech therapy sessions to assist with support.
Now that my son is older, we want him to walk himself to the speech room. Additionally, we feel that the speech teacher, who has known him for six years, can handle any behaviors that may occur. We simply feel he no longer needs hands on support during his group speech therapy sessions.
But, if the aide doesn’t have to go to speech, can she/he remain the classroom to assist me?
In my son’s situation, he has had the same aide for almost six years, and would trust her judgment. If she wanted to help out, and our child didn’t need the direct support, I would let her.
Or, she could take her lunch break during that time.
I think this is more or less a scheduling issue that can be worked out. I mean, teachers take lunch, too.
What happens if the aide has their lunch break while her autistic child is in class and receiving instruction?
This scenario has happened to my son multiple times. What it means is that when the inclusion aide it out of the classroom, the teacher is responsible for the inclusion student.
First, the teacher must follow the student’s IEP. Second, the teacher must run his/her classroom to the best of their abilities. They’re on their own for a period of time, which they’re probably used to, but now they have an unsupported autistic child.
For example, if the child is used to using a timer to help him get through a math class, and the aide is on her break, it is the teacher’s responsibility to make sure the child uses the timer.
It may seem like a “little thing,” but not to our autistic kids. That child may need that timer every single day and a behavior may creep up if the timer is forgotten.
In my next blog, I will continue to discuss the teacher, the inclusion aide, and the student.
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