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MS in Special Education




The rates of children diagnosed with autism in the United States today are steadily increasing. Children with autism are enrolling in the public school system in increasing numbers, and many require support from paraeducators. Engaging a child with autism in learning can be a tremendous challenge that requires specialized skills and strategies. Therefore paraeducators need specialized skills and strategies when working with a student with Autism Spectrum Disorder to insure meaningful and effective support for students. Exactly what skills and strategies do paraeducators need? A review of the literature as well as research is undertaken to examine what autism is, the role of a special education paraprofessional, current skill set standards for special education paraeducators, and identifying the most recent skills and strategies, if any, to engage a child with autism being researched. Controversy concerning the potential over-utilization of paraeducators was identified. The intent is to synthesize the information and data collected to develop a deeper understanding of what exactly a paraeducator needs to know and be able to do when working in the classroom with children with autism.

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