'Paraprofessionals', 'Paraeducators', Aides,etc. Whatever you call them, they are often (and possibly increasingly) being used as the bandaid to cure all ills. Often they are fantastic.Sometimes - not so much. You should learn all you can about the 'para' program that your District has before you decide on using them. [For example,does your District even provide them training? Are the parents even allowed to communicate directly with the Para's?]
Here is the Connecticut website on Paraprofessionals:
Be sure to review all the materials and resources that are available on this page
And the Connecticut Para Guidebook:
Did you know that there are no requirements for minimum or even basic training for 'paraprofessionals' in
Connecticut who work with children with Learning Disabilities, developmental disorders or emotional challenges?
A recent study has addressed this point and recommended that there be some initial training at the very least.
See a statement touching on the need for Paraprofessional training that has been submitted to a Legislative Subcommittee:
There are some considerations that must be made when deciding if the use of a Para is right for your child.
The Dangers of using a paraprofessional
Michael Giangreco of the University of Vermont is one of the preeminent authority on the uses
(and abuses) of Paraprofessionals.
His article, "Be Careful What You Wish For..." outlines some of the pitfalls of these types of arrangements
His Web Home can be found here:
Here is an account of his recent testimony on the issue of para's and equitable instruction:
The Bottom Line: Don't be afraid to ask questions about your District's 'Para' program. See if they are trained and evaluated, check on their qualifications and experience. Ask.
Also --- do NOT assume that your Para has received adequate or even ANY training. ASK !!!! Also--- share what you know, show them copies of relevant materials. SEND THEM THE LINK TO THIS WEBSITE !!!!!