Paraprofessionals Trained in Autism Increase Student Outcomes by 136%

The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of an ABA online training technology on the implementation of mand training on three paraprofessionals. Mand training is an evidenced-based instructional procedure used to increase functional communication in students with disabilities.


Participants in the ABA Online Training

Three female paraprofessionals ages 26, 34, and 46 all of Hawaiian background participated. Two paraprofessionals had high school degrees, one with BA in business. One girl and two boys ages 6,8,10 also participated. All paraprofessionals had no previous ABA online training in autism interventions. All three students had developmental disabilities and language delays and goals in their IEPs to increase functional communication.

Setting of the ABA Online Training

Observations took place in an elementary school special education classroom in a rural area of Hawaii. Trainings took place at the school on the special education teacher’s computer. The SpEd Teacher gave the paraprofessionals time during the school day and after to complete the training.

Design A multiple baseline design across subjects was used. The dependant measure for the paraprofessionals was the percentage of correct implementation of mand training procedures. The dependant measure for the students was the percentage of intervals that included spontaneous and prompted mands (requests).

Procedure of the ABA Online Training

During baseline the experimenter observed and recorded during one-to-one instructional times. During the ABA online training, the paraprofessionals were given a username and password to login to the Autism Training Solution’s Learning Management System (now part of Relias Learning). They were shown how to use the system by the experimenter. The system had them do a pretest and then took them through a series of video modules, each ending in a competency quiz. After they passed the competency quizzes, they were able to take the post-test to finish off the ABA online training.

See the full results of this study at the Relias Institute.


Vice President, Relias Institute, Relias

Vice President, Relias Institute||In 2008 Emaley McCulloch co-founded Autism Training Solutions, LLC and is currently the Vice President of Relias Institute at Relias Learning. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and holds an MA in Special Education. She has over 20 years’ experience in the field of autism and ABA and has provided and overseen services to individuals between the ages of 18 months to 24 years in homes, schools and clinical settings. For eight years she served as a consultant and supervisor at agencies based in Hawaii and Japan where she trained groups of professionals and parents.

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