Paraeducator-Delivered Interventions for Students with Extensive Support Needs in Inclusive School Settings: A Systematic Review

Virginia L. Walker, Jennifer Kurth, Megan E. Carpenter, Melissa C. Tapp, Amy Clausen, Elissa Lockman Turner

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Schools have continued to rely on paraeducators to assist special education teachers and other professionals in the provision of special education and related services. Although paraeducators often support students with extensive support needs (ESN) in a range of school environments, the subset of intervention studies focused on paraeducators who support students with ESN in inclusive settings has not been systematically reviewed. The purpose of this literature review was to synthesize single-case research studies involving paraeducator-delivered interventions for students with ESN in inclusive school environments. Our findings suggest that research primarily has focused on communication and social skills interventions that involved paraeducator-facilitated peer supports in core academic classes and specials (e.g., art, music, physical education). Overall, paraeducator-delivered interventions resulted in improved student outcomes. Likewise, paraeducator training, which typically included an oral description, modeling, and/or performance feedback, was effective in improving paraeducator implementation of the target interventions. We present implications for practice specific to paraeducators who support students with ESN in inclusive settings and future research directions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)278-295
Number of pages18
JournalResearch and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities
Volume46
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Keywords

  • extensive support needs
  • inclusion
  • paraeducator
  • paraprofessional
  • severe disabilities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health Professions(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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