As you all know, I wear many hats because I work more than one job. I have been a paraprofessional for many years. Recently, I entered into my 4th school year as a paraprofessional. I am not just as any paraprofessional. I am a paraprofessional on the autism spectrum! Most of my experiences consist of working with elementary school students on the autism spectrum, but I have experiences working with elementary school students with various disabilities. So, what is my advice for paraprofessionals working with students with disabilities?
- Do not expect progress right away. Your student as a 1-on-1 paraprofessional, or your students as a classroom paraprofessional will not grow right away. Progress takes time.
- Observe how your student(s)learn. They may pick up new skills more quickly than others. If you see a student struggle with a skill after practicing, then teach them a new approach to master the skill. Through your observations and various teaching approaches, your student(s) will grow.
- You must be patient! Be patient towards students with disabilities because they need some accommodations and modifications to be successful in life.
- It is important to take things head on and be flexible because in the end, students will appreciate what you do for them in the long run.
I believe my advice can help paraprofessionals approach students with disabilities from different lenses. What do you think? Was there anything I left out for paraprofessionals to be successful? Share your thoughts in the comments section!