Paraeducator Series 2: The Paraprofessional’s Role in the General Education Setting


Hello, and thank you for checking out this slide presentation entitled the paraprofessionals role in the general education setting I’m Kathleen Kendall with the El Dorado County SELPA The individuals with disabilities education act or idea is a united states Federal law that Governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention special education and related services to children with disabilities it addresses the educational needs of children with disabilities from birth through age 21 IDEA focuses on High Standards and instructional Outcomes for all students Through access to the general education curriculum in what is considered the least restrictive environment or lre in Defining the purpose of special education IDEA 2004 Clarifies Congress’s intended outcome for each child with a disability that Students must be provided a free appropriate public education or fape that prepares them for further education employment and Independent living FAPE is guaranteed by the individuals with disabilities education act and is defined as an Educational program that is individualized to a specific child is Designed to meet that child’s unique needs and from which the child receives educational benefit to provide FAPE schools must provide students with an education that emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their unique needs and Prepare them for further education employment and Independent living some of the Criteria is specified in various sections of the IDEA statute includes requirements that we’ll provide each student with a disability an Education that is designed to meet the unique needs of that one student Provides access to the general education curriculum to meet the challenging expectations established for all children That is it meets the approximate grade-level standards of the state educational agency is provided in accordance with the individualized education plan or iep and results in educational benefits to the child In this slide presentation we will be discussing the IEP process For example how does the child qualify for special education services and What should you do when a parent talks to you about their child? So the first step in the iep process is the referral for special education This referral may come through regular communication between parents teachers paraprofessionals regarding the progress of a student there may have been interventions tried such as programs around response to intervention or multi-tiered systems of support and A referral can be made for special education at any time that somebody feels a student is struggling It may come from a school student study team It may come from a request of a parent or a teacher or some other school personnel Or it may be initiated by other service providers or knowledgeable person Once a referral for special education has been initiated Then an evaluation or Assessment will be completed by the appropriately credentialed Assessors and an IEP meeting will be held to review the results of all the assessments areas that should be considered when Looking at a special education referral might be health and development vision hearing fine and Gross Motor abilities language function student strengths parent Concerns overall ability of the student Perhaps the academic performance of the child how they’re able to help themselves personal grooming issues Anything around orientation and mobility how they navigate the school campus or their community If it’s an older student perhaps career and vocational interests will be taken into account Certainly any student’s social and emotional status will be looked at in any important developmental history Once assessments and evaluations have been completed the iep team will meet to review those Assessments and decide if a student is in fact eligible for special education and special education services these eligibility Requirements are found within IDEA it, but it is the iep team Determination if the student is eligible for special education They need to look at three things first does the child in fact have a disability Does that disability negatively impact the student’s academic Career and Third does the child based on the first two points does the child need special education services to be able to access the general education Curriculum and receive educational benefit IDEA identifies 13 categories of disability autism blindness deafness emotional disturbance hearing impairment intellectual disability multiple disabilities Orthopedic Impairment other Health impaired specific learning disability speech or language impairment traumatic brain injury or visual impairment the first meeting that is held to review Assessments and Determine eligibility is called an initial iep meeting The school will notify the parents with plenty of Advanced warning in writing with a meeting notice that Includes the purpose of the meeting the time and place of the meeting and all of those who will be attending The school will also arrange for an interpreter if necessary so that parents can participate Fully and meaningfully in the iep meeting IDEA requires certain individuals to be present at an iep team meeting there needs to be an administrator or an Administrator designee the students current general education teacher at least one special education teacher and the parents one or both parents or if the parents are unable to attend an Individual who the parents have selected Also, when appropriate the iep team should include the student any other persons who possess expertise, Or are knowledgeable around the student’s progress that can provide information on the development of the IEP and Any person or persons who conducted an assessment or an evaluation IDEA requires that every student receiving special patience services be reevaluated every three years This is called a triennial evaluation or triennial iep At this triennial iep meeting the team will determine if the student continues to have a disability continues to need special education and special education services and if the student requires any additions or modifications to the educational program The iep is developed using solid Data and information Gathered about the student We collect Data to see if we can find Trends that a behavior or a skill may not follow or may follow is there an up and down pattern that may be difficult to analyze just by looking talking about a student and There may be legal compliance issues around the importance of data based decision making when we don’t collect data there are times when we end a Successful intervention because we don’t see that it’s working unless we use specific data sometimes an intervention that is improving ineffective will be continued because there isn’t solid Data and It may delay any necessary changes to any intervention that may be used with the student so in addition to supporting planning Data allows behavioral information to become tangible to others it provides visual information and assists in making defensible decisions So how do you collect data? What tools do you use? Data should be meaningful to you. It’s a resource to assist you in the team in planning The Data you collect should tell you something that you would not otherwise Know about the students behavior, or the skill that you’re looking at Everyone needs to be on the same page when determining which data is important to take and use Data should be specific detailed using language that anyone can understand the Data should be Observable, what does it look like and Measurable can you measure it is it a length of time how often does something happen how often is the student successful on something and We always say Data should work for you. Don’t work for your data When working with your team To develop the data collection process that you will use you want to define what skill or behavior You as a team are wanting to get more information on then you’re going to want to decide what type of Recording or documentation will you use to monitor the behavior or the skill as you provide interventions Decide when you will collect this data decide how long your observations will be Or how often they will happen You want to observe and document the students behavior around this this skill and you want to use the recorded data to look for patterns of behavior and again you will be working with Your teachers and other school staff to collect this data so in briefly the goal of collecting Data is to gain a representative sample of The skill or the behavior you are you as a team are identifying with the student you don’t have to observe every instance when the student exhibits the Behavior or Demonstrates a skill you want to pick specific intervals to be collecting data in maybe it’s a class setting maybe it’s Lunchtime or it’s the cafeteria, but as a team you would decide when you will collect the data You do need to make sure you observe enough time and record enough samples of that behavior or skill so that you’re truly getting a reflection of how often The skill the Behavior is happening or the skill is developing and in what situations is the student most successful or or finding challenges and Briefly what types of Data are you collecting Frequency Data just looks at how often the behavior or the skill occurs Duration Data how long does it last how long does the student maintain a skill Scatter plot Data when does the behavior occur when is the student most successful at that particular Skill and then ABC Data is looking specifically at behaviors. Why does the behavior occur What was the antecedent What was the behavior and what was the consequence to the behavior as A paraeducator or a paraprofessional part of your role will be to educate students About disabilities other adults about disabilities, so you’re you’re basically teaching and making others aware of disability It’s important for all people to understand disabilities for children. This is especially important because attitudes develop during childhood by watching and listening to peers Teachers and family the classroom is an ideal place to Increase knowledge about individuals with disabilities and To foster positive attitudes about them Just because someone has a disability doesn’t mean that that person needs help always wanting to ask first before jumping in and helping someone Part of your role again as a paraprofessional is to increase Independence in all of the students that you work with no matter what level they are working from when working with students with disabilities It’s important to be sensitive about physical contact with them there are some students who are fine with a touch on the arm or assistance getting in and out of a wheelchair or up and down stairs some students are Uncomfortable with physical contact and it’s important to know what students are sensitive to these issues sometimes patting a person on the head or leaning on to someone’s wheelchair Seems very condescending you want to always make sure you are respecting a student’s personal space especially if they use mobility equipment when speaking to a student with a disability You would want to speak directly to the student not to the aid that may be working with them You would want to encourage other students to speak directly to To the student you may be working with rather than through you modeling appropriate social interactions allow all students to learn So as a paraprofessional you may want to be prepared to provide activities That show how all students are more alike than different You may have information on how to talk with the student with disabilities that you can share with others how to best interact with students with disabilities this is a wonderful learning opportunity for all students and certainly you want to celebrate the abilities of the children that you are working with Encourage social interactions amongst students with disabilities and their peers as often as possible facilitate those Relationships, it’s often very difficult for students with disabilities to make friends especially if they have an adult very close by that other students feel they have to Go through to make a friendship with a student It’s also important for all of us in the field of special education to use person-first language Putting the person first and the disability later, I’ll let you read this on your own using Person first language means putting the person before the disability and eliminating old Prejudicial and hurtful descriptors this can help us move in a new direction Person first language is not about political correctness Instead it Demonstrates. Good Manners respect You know the Golden rule if you will and more it Helps to change the way. We see a child and it can change the way a child sees herself Oftentimes you will find yourself working in the general education setting supporting students with Disabilities and will need to collaborate regularly with the general education teacher This may be daily communication it may be weekly communication something for you and the teacher to set up and To make sure it gets protected there may be times when you don’t understand the Instructions that a teacher has given or has expected and certainly you can ask ask for clarification Let the teacher know that you’re not clear on. What is being asked You want to work with the teacher to understand how a particular student learns best what might work for one student may not work for another student it will depend on the needs of the child and Anytime you’re working with students in groups you want to make sure that the teacher is Clear on. What is expected of you when working with all of the different children as Was mentioned earlier one of the most important roles you play is as a facilitator to promote independence in the students you’re working with and Eventually fade away the support that you are providing Some strategies to do this watch what the student is doing before jumping in to assist Can the student seek assistance from a peer that might that may be nearby rather than going to the adult in the classroom some students require extra time Before they respond to a question or they respond to a need Part of your job will be to provide that extra time that wait time before you jump in to assist having a consistent Classroom schedule is very important to help to teach students to be organized and to use schedules and planners effectively anytime you’re working with the student who may need a prompt to get started or a Prompt to Get something done. You want to always start with the least intrusive prompt. Maybe it’s just a gesture Maybe it’s a raising eyebrow with a question like do you need some help before stepping in and providing more intensive interventions and Always work from the strengths or the interests of the student to motivate them What are they most interested in what are they good at and how can you use that to help them with areas where they’re facing challenges other strategies to promote independence for your students you work with Helping them to learn the skills used in a classroom such as raising a hand to ask a question Perhaps asking a neighbor or appeared for help When you’re doing this in a classroom you want to be careful. You’re not talking over the teacher or Interrupting the teacher or being a distraction there may be gestural cues that you can use with the student Rather than voice Be aware of your proximity with the student are you always sitting with the student or do you only sit with them When it’s necessary to provide the support do you Touch base with the student and then move on to assist with other students letting that for student work independently teaching self monitoring tools Behavioral tools self-talk Organizational tool such as planners and reminders or journals these are all important for students How do you track independence? How do you help the student to track their own independence? how do you help the student recognize when they need assistance or when they can try it on their own first and I always like to say you want to fade your support. You actually want to work yourself out of a job Included here are a few resources that you may find helpful while working with students in the general education and special education classroom Thank you for listening

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