Research Article: Training paraprofessionals to facilitate social interactions between children with autism and their typically developing peers
Feldman, E., & Matos, R. (2012). Training paraprofessionals to facilitate social interactions between children with autism and their typically developing peers. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, doi: 10.1177/1098300712457421
To support children with autism in inclusive classrooms, schools are increasingly utilizing paraprofessionals. However, research suggests that paraprofessionals often lack sufficient training and may inadvertently hinder the social interactions between children with disabilities and their peers. This study used a multiple baseline across participants design to empirically investigate whether paraprofessionals could learn to implement social facilitation procedures based on Pivotal Response Treatment. Results indicated that the paraprofessionals learned to utilize the social facilitation procedures with fidelity and generalized the techniques to untrained activities. Furthermore, once the paraprofessionals met the fidelity criteria, decreases in hovering and uninvolved behavior and increases in social facilitation and monitoring were observed. Likewise, the reciprocal social behavior of the children with autism increased rapidly.