“It’s a Lot of Trial and Error”: Experiences of Paraeducators Supporting Individuals Who Use AAC

graph of para-educatos expressing interest in modeling of system useEskin, N., & Caron, J. (2017, November). “It’s a lot of trial & error”: Experiences of paraeducators supporting individuals who use AAC. Poster presentation at the Annual Conference of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA), Los Angeles, CA.

Caron & Eskin (2017) Poster (Pdf)

Abstract:  Communication partners play an important role in the acquisition of communicative competence for individuals who use AAC. For many children who use AAC, the paraeducator is a frequent communication partner. Interviews were conducted with paraeducators to explore their experiences in supporting AAC.  The authors discussed major themes in their poster presentation, including recommendations and future research.
 
Paraeducators, despite often working with children with the most severe disabilities (Mueller, 2002), receive limited training on AAC use (Giangreco, Broer, & Edelman, 2002).  Results show that in order to foster better communicative outcomes for students who require AAC, 79% of paraeducators feel that monthly training, education, demonstrations, and feedback on performance will be enhance their knowledge and understanding of AAC devices. 

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