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Question for Special Ed Subs
Old 12-15-2017, 01:46 PM
 
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I am a fairly new substitute teacher in my fifties. I have a condition that prohibits me from lifting disabled children, for example, from the wheelchair to the toilet. I don't want to take a Special Ed assignment in which I will have to refuse to help the teacher lift someone. Can someone share with me which of these Special Ed classes I should avoid because of the lifting issue: Moderate Intellectually Disabled (IQ 35-49), Orthopedically Impaired, Specific Learning Disability, Traumatic Brain Injury, Significant Developmental Delay, Autism Levels 1 and 2. I appreciate any feedback you can give.


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Old 12-15-2017, 04:31 PM
 
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Check with the district where you plan to sub.

I sub special education all the time and have never had to do anything physical with a student; lifting them, changing diapers, and so on. Any student that requires this has always had an aide that was specifically trained.

The only special ed classes I try to avoid is emotional support; when a child's reaction to something is way over the top as in their pencil broke now it's World War III.
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Old 12-15-2017, 07:05 PM
 
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I have subbed in a few hundred special ed classes and have never be required to physically handle a student in any way.
If the class in moderate to severe, an aide , or usually three, will handle these tasks.

On one occasion, I was left alone with a few M/S students in wheel chairs because the school was short on aides that day.

This is probably illegal, but I did not report them.

I called for an aide from another class to help with the changing.
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Old 12-16-2017, 06:32 AM
 
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My first and only experience that involved lifting was in a spec ed class (I think the kids might have been othopedically impaired) and there were only 3 or 4 kids, the teacher, and one other parapro. I was asked to help transfer a child from wheelchair to toilet a couple of times, so I did help, but made note of the situation. I will call the sub office in my district and ask them what the policy is. I assumed the spec ed teachers and parapros would expect me to help in all areas as needed. I really liked the kids and the teachers in spite of the lifting. And, like you, I have avoided the EBD (Emotional Behavior Disorder in my district) because I am not equipped to handle those children.
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Old 12-16-2017, 06:43 AM
 
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I plan to call my district sub office and find out exactly what i am required or not required to do in these situations. Yesterday, I took a parapro position in an Autism Level 4 class with kids age 6 to 8. To my surprise, the teacher was going to ask me to care for a little girl with a tremendous temper. The teacher said she was prone to run throughout the school, but was really "very sweet." I was able to witness her behavior. Tell her to stop doing anything in the gentlest tone, and she would fly into a tantrum, and run around the room. It was a resource-type class, so I was expected to take her to other classrooms during the day. Before I could respond, a wise parapro stepped in, and said that she would take care of her. I think the teacher talked the little girl up to get me to take responsibility for her. That is one situation that I don't think any sub parapro should be asked to take on.


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As a former special ed teacher and now a sub
Old 12-19-2017, 04:53 AM
 
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Any time you step into any classroom, but especially special ed classrooms, there may be times of physicality. My district does have a sub job description for the self-contained classrooms that includes lifting, daily care (diapering/toileting/feeding), and following classroom structure, routine, etc. As a sub in one of those rooms, you need to be able to carry out the responsibilities that the regular paraprofessionals do. I, as a teacher sub, bad back and all, help with lifting and daily care when there are para shortages and no subs to fill those positions. I just finished a long term in a self-contained classroom and assisted in all of those things.

You might do better subbing in general ed classrooms or for the resource teachers.
Kathy
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Old 12-19-2017, 12:14 PM
 
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You should talk to your school district and make them understand what you can do and what you cannot do. They will plan for you. Good luck!
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