Have students write a collaborative poem or story using Twitter, IM, Edmodo or Facebook. This way, authors can contribute one word, one line, or several paragraphs.

This website is dedicated to promoting inclusive schooling and exploring positive ways of supporting students with autism and other disabilities. Most of my work involves collaborating with schools to create environments, lessons, and experiences that are inclusive, respectful, and accessible for all learners.


Idea #19: Coach and collaborate

Posted on April 19, 2013 in Autism

Another idea from You’re Going to Love This Kid!

If you are a paraprofessional or work with a paraprofessional, you know just how challenging this role can be. One of the primary difficulties of the job is getting feedback in a way that is streamlined, efficient, and useful. Paraprofessionals are typically busy in their direct support of students and classrooms; this leaves little room for meetings and collaborative planning. One way to be sure that paraprofessionals get the support they need is to regularly build in time for supervision and coaching.

The type of support a child with require across a single year should change quite a bit. The first months of school usually require the most direct supervision and many indirect and direct cues. As time goes on, however, curricular adaptations will change and the level or type of support the learner needs may also change. Therefore, at least twice a month, a certified teacher/supervisor should conduct short coaching sessions with paraprofessionals. This may involve the teacher supporting the child while the paraprofessional watches or vice versa. In either instance, it can be helpful to have the paraprofessional and teacher target an area of growth (e.g., involving more peers in providing support and cues; providing more communication opportunities) to observe during an observation.

These coaching sessions will undoubtedly make paraprofessionals feel more confident, but will also give them concrete tools to improve the support they provide.

You’re Going to Love This Kid!

Thousands of educators have turned to this book for fresh ways to welcome and teach students with autism- and now the book teachers trust is fully revised and more practical than ever. Gathering feedback from teachers across the country during her popular workshops, autism expert Paula Kluth targeted this second edition to the specific needs of today’s primary and secondary school educators. Packed with the ready-to-use tips and strategies that teachers are looking for.


  1. From Robin Dye on 19 Apr 2013

    Thank you for this! I was in tears last week, as an RtI aide. I was to reteach Math but was not in the classroom for the original lesson; and when I voiced my concern to the principal he “empowered” me to call the teachers together to rework my schedule so I could be there? I lost my cool, exclaiming, I’m not the administrator! I can’t tell the teachers to change their schedules. Why did no one else mention the fact that I’m not IN the classroom. I, the aide, who is to be working under the lead of the teachers, have to bring this forth AND resolve it? Luckily, he and I have a stable relationship and I believe he respects my opinions, it’s just that his style if very top-down; and NOW he decides to empower me — and very inappropriately, I might add. Sorry to vent. Would love any additional thoughts.
    Robin Dye
    Wheaton, IL

  2. From Teresa on 27 Apr 2013

    The teacher I worked with last year and I would take a few minutes at the end of each day to go over the day. We didn’t just focus on the negative, but also reviewed the positive aspects of the day. It didn’t take long and we were able to come up with solutions to problems. Best of all it ensured that we were on the same page.