Prepare For After-School Activities

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If your child needs a paraprofessional to access after-school activities, your child has the right to have one. I am talking about activities sponsored by the school district. I’ve heard school administrators tell students with paras during their school day, that after-school activities are not part of their IEP and therefore, the school is not obliged to provide one.

Check the Accommodations and Modifications page of your child’s IEP. Here in Connecticut the paraprofessional support is specified on the bottom of this page. Either way, check for where this is specified on your child’s IEP. If the paraprofessional is specified as being used throughout his or her IEP, than a para should be provided for after school activities. If a para is necessary during the day, than one is likely necessary for after-school activities.

Your child has the right to equal access to any after school activity that his or her peers have. Since it is deemed that your child needs a para during the school day, he should have same during after-school activities.

You should, if at all possible, give the school ample notice that your child will be participating in the activity so that they can train a para to properly assist your child.

Do not take “no” they cannot or will not provide a para to assist your child in the after school activity, for an answer. If they do say no, and stick to it, ask an administrator (like the Principal or Assistant Principal)  in writing (email is fine, just keep it on file) if it is their opinion that your child can fully access the activity without a paraprofessional, and if so, ask them to explain why. They must give you an answer.  Since any answer they come up with is going to put them in jeopardy of non-compliance with IDEA and ADA laws, they will likely give in.

Holding your school district accountable for every decision they make that you disagree with, is powerful.

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