Supporting Paraprofessionals to Implement Functional Communication Training to Address Challenging Behavior
September 17, 2021
By: Organization for Autism Research
This webinar was presented on, Thursday, September 16, 2021, by Virginia L. Walker, Ph.D., BCBA-D and Megan E. Carpenter, Ph.D.
Webinar Description: Paraprofessionals play an important role in assisting educators to support students with autism spectrum disorder, including delivering behavioral supports to those students who engage in persistent challenging behavior. However, paraprofessionals often are inadequately prepared for their role and have received little or no training to address student challenging behavior. During this webinar, we will present findings and implications from a study examining the effects of teacher-delivered training on paraprofessional implementation of an evidence-based practice, functional communication training, for students with autism spectrum disorder who have complex communication needs. In addition, we will offer attendees with practical guidelines for supervising and training paraprofessionals to deliver behavioral supports.
Virginia L. Walker, PhD, BCBA-D, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Special Education and Child Development at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Dr. Walker began her career as a special education teacher of students with extensive support needs, including students with multiple disabilities, autism spectrum disorder, and intellectual disability, in Atlanta, Georgia before attending the University of Virginia where she worked on several federally funded grants involving research in the areas of multi-tiered models of positive behavioral interventions and support and teacher preparation. Dr. Walker’s line of research has focused on three general themes: positive behavioral interventions and supports for students with extensive support needs, supports planning to enhance the inclusion of students with extensive support needs, and effective training practices for school staff supporting students with extensive support needs. Dr. Walker serves as an editorial review board member of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, one of the primary publications of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, the primary publication of TASH.
Megan E. Carpenter, Ph.D is a postdoctoral researcher at the Kansas University Center on Developmental Disabilities. She recently completed her Ph.D. at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Prior to her current position, Dr. Carpenter taught students with extensive support needs in Illinois and North Carolina. Dr. Carpenter’s line of research focuses on educator implementation of positive behavioral interventions and supports for students with extensive support needs, especially within a school-wide positive behavioral interventions and supports framework, to promote inclusion in general education settings.