Date of Award
Doctor of Education (EdD)
Purpose: The purpose of this convergent mixed methods study was to describe the training and support paraeducators who work with students with autism spectrum disorder received as they implemented behavior intervention plans based on the Browning-Wright, Mayer, and Saren model. Additionally, this study sought to describe the training and challenges experienced by paraeducators, as well as their training and support recommendations for paraeducators who work with students with autism spectrum disorder with a behavior intervention plan.
Methodology: A convergent mixed methods study was used to describe the training and support experiences, challenges, and recommendations, as described by paraeducators responsible for implementing behavior intervention plans for students with autism spectrum disorder. In-person surveys were administered to 12 volunteer participants, followed by 11 in-depth interviews with paraeducators who volunteered to participate in the second phase of the data collection process.
Findings: Paraeducators who worked with students with autism disorder did not receive formal training, but instead experienced inconsistent and ineffective informal training. Paraeducators also experienced inconsistent support, communication, and teamwork from school site staff. Additionally, paraeducators recommended training in behavior intervention plans and autism utilizing training formats of brief workshops, cooperative work groups, in-classroom coaching, and web-based courses.
Conclusions: Paraeducators, without formal training and consistent support from all school site staff, including being given a voice in student decision-making processes, cannot be effective in implementing behavior intervention plans with fidelity. Additionally, paraeducators do not receive formal training in evidenced-based practices necessary for fidelity of implementation of behavior intervention plans.
Recommendation: It is recommended to replicate this convergent mixed methods study, but from the perspective of special education teachers of supporting and training paraeducators who implement behavior intervention plans for students with autism spectrum disorder.
Nottle-Powell, Kristen, "Effective Paraeducator Implementation of Behavior Intervention Plans for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder: An Exploration of Training and Support Needs" (2020). Dissertations. 347.