Can I request a specific person to be my child's school aide?
Parents can request a paraeducator with certain training, but they cannot request particular individuals, just services or specific skill sets (the IEP team does not make personnel decisions; these are for the principal or district HR department). However, the district must provide a paraeducator if your child needs an aide to benefit from their education. If there are special circumstances, make sure they’re outlined in the IEP (for example, if your child can only work with a female aide due to past trauma, or if your child with autism requires an aide specifically trained in ABA).
But with so many training opportunities at the local and federal level, there may be opportunities to take your requests to the district or school and push for more funding for paraeducator training. Just make sure you have the correct information and can state your case!
For more on this topic, see our article Paraeducators 101.