Special Education/1:1


I am happy to have found this site! I hope you might help.
My son has made very little progress. He does not do better in a small class over a large class and has no peer models in the small class. We tried the small class and he was very unhappy. Then we went to a normal class with supports. This went much better in terms of his happiness and some learning but progress was still very slow. At least he was not going backwards as in the small class. He is a bright kid and the small class was ridiculous. How can I make a cogent request for 1:1?  He learns best 1:1. They like to call the small class 1:1 but it is 1:5.  He has an aide but the aide is not educational at all. I feel he is entitled to a 1:1 to a teacher for some point during the day. I would want it to be for the more difficult part of the day, to prepare him.  This is a support he benefits from no matter where he is. The difference is as it stands now I am doing the 1:1. I do not mind doing this but I don't always know what they do in school and I feel it should be relevant to school.  The school said no to this and then said if I was unhappy, I could do the small class again even though it was such a failure or try to find a private placement. The private placement is so expensive so I don't understand why they would do that and not the 1:1 unless they are not being honest. There is only one private placement that to me seems appropriate and they end at 2nd grade which is just one more year. I don't want to put my son in a different school for just one year, for me that makes no sense. The other placements I've checked out are for very non verbal or emotionally disturbed children, neither of which my son is.  My son is very bright but has learning disabilities. How can I get the school to support him properly with the pre teach? Thanks much!


The law says that a student needs to be placed in the "least restrictive environment." Being placed in a regular classroom with aide support is less restrictive than being placed in a smaller special education classroom. Schools will almost never agree to one-to-one instruction from a teacher. Even though aides are not teachers, good ones can help the student learn at his or her own speed when under the supervision of a teacher. This is about a close as you can get to one-to-one teaching in public schools.

I have successfully made school districts pay for private schools that do one-to-one teaching, but I had to prove that the student was not making any progress in public school. I also had to file for Due Process to achieve this. The law only requires that the student make some educational progress, which you say your son is doing. You are correct in not wanting to place your son in classrooms for ED. You want you son to be able to learn from the examples of his fellow students.

I have had some students combine general education classes with aide support in the subjects where they are stronger and small special education classes for the tougher subjects.  

Special Education

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Tim Runner


Questions concerning special education: IEP, assessments, Due Process, mediation, resolution conference, federal law, state law, qualifying for services, residential treatment, special day classes, resource specialists, procedures, having your child assessed, adaptive PE, speech & language, non-public school, FAPE, and tuition reimbursement.


I have been an education advocate representing students and parents for six years. My experience includes: representing my clients in IEPs, SSTs, Due Process, review assessment results for my clients, and mediations. I have represented clients with learning disabilities, autism, Downs Syndrome, cognitively challenged, emotional problems, learning disabilities, ADD/ADHD, and physical disabilities. I have also represented clients to County Mental Health Departments and Regional Centers. My clients range from pre-school to college students in many states.

I have a degree in Mathematics from the University of California with minors in Psychology and Physics. I also studied applied statistics in psychology at the graduate level. I have taught college classes, conducted seminars, written articles for various publications, and testified as an expert witness.

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