Teaching paraeducators to support the communication of young children with complex communication needs – Publication

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Douglas, S.N.,  Light, J., and McNaughton, D. Teaching Paraeducators to Support the Communication of Young Children With Complex Communication Needs. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education 0271121412467074, first published on December 26, 2012 as doi:10.1177/0271121412467074.

 

ABSTRACT: Paraeducators are frequent communication partners for young children with complex communication needs (CCN) in early childhood settings. This study examined the impact of instruction to paraeducators in two communication interaction strategies (IPLAN [Identify activities for communication, Provide means for communication, Locate and provide vocabulary, Arrange environment, use iNteraction strategies] and MORE [Model AAC, Offer opportunities for communication, Respond to communication, Extend communication]) on the number of communication opportunities provided by paraeducators during play activities with young children with CCN. Results of the study provide evidence that after 2 hr of one-on-one training, paraeducators increased the number of communication opportunities they provided for children with CCN, and children with CCN took an increased number of communication turns. In addition, paraeducators reported that they found the training beneficial, and the supervising teachers noted improvements in the communication support provided by the paraeducators. Limitations and future research directions are discussed.

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