Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 47, Issue 6, pp 1696–1707 | Cite as

Impact of a Teacher-as-Coach Model: Improving Paraprofessionals Fidelity of Implementation of Discrete Trial Training for Students with Moderate-to-Severe Developmental Disabilities

  • Rose A. Mason
  • Alana G. Schnitz
  • Howard P. Wills
  • Raia Rosenbloom
  • Debra M. Kamps
  • Darcey Bast
Original Paper


Ensuring educational progress for students with moderate-to-severe developmental disabilities requires exposure to well executed evidence-based practices. This necessitates that the special education workforce, including paraprofessionals, be well-trained. Yet evidence regarding effective training mechanisms for paraprofessionals is limited. A multiple baseline design across five teachers was used to evaluate the impact of online instructional modules and a Practice-Based Coaching (PBC) model with teacher-as-coach on their paraprofessionals’ fidelity of discrete trial training (DTT). Implementation of the instructional modules yielded little to no change in paraprofessionals’ DTT fidelity, however, a clear functional relation between PBC and improvement in paraprofessionals’ fidelity of implementation of DTT was demonstrated. Implications for future research and practice are discussed.


Paraprofessionals Developmental disabilities Autism Coaching Discrete trial training 



This study was supported by the Institute of Educational Sciences #R305H140048. The information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by IES or the U.S. Government.

Author Contributions

Study Conception and Design by RAM, AGS, HPW, DMK, DB; Analysis and Interpretation of Design by RAM, AGS, RR; Drafting of Manuscript by RAM, AGS, RR; Critical Revision by RAM, HPW, AGS, DMK, DB.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rose A. Mason
    • 1
  • Alana G. Schnitz
    • 1
  • Howard P. Wills
    • 1
  • Raia Rosenbloom
    • 1
  • Debra M. Kamps
    • 1
  • Darcey Bast
    • 2
  1. 1.Juniper Gardens Children’s ProjectUniversity of KansasKansas CityUSA
  2. 2.Kansas City Kansas Public SchoolsKansas CityUSA

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