Increasing peer interactions for students with severe disabilities via paraprofessional training

Julie N. Causton-Theoharis, Kimber W. Malmgren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


As students with severe disabilities are included in general education settings, the use of paraprofessionals has expanded to meet these students' needs. Unfortunately, paraprofessionals can have the inadvertent effect of intensifying the social isolation of students with disabilities. This study investigated the effectiveness of a training program aimed at teaching four paraprofessionals to facilitate interactions between students with severe disabilities and their peers. A multiple base-line, single-subject design across four paraprofessional/student pairs was utilized. Observational data were collected over the baseline and postintervention phases. Rates of paraprofessional facilitative behavior increased following the intervention. Additionally, rates of student interaction increased immediately and dramatically and were maintained through the maintenance probe.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)431-444
Number of pages14
JournalExceptional Children
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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