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K3: Understanding of the basic theories of behavior problems exhibited by individuals with DCD.

S5: Familiarity with the use of a variety of instructional strategies (including functional life skills approach, community-based instruction, task analysis, multi-sensory, and concrete or manipulative techniques) to appropriately support the needs of students with DCD.

S6: Familiarity with techniques used to stimulate language, basic academic, and literacy skills of students with DCD (including the integration of art, music, and body movement into instruction).

K9: Understanding of basic aspects of a classroom environment that are relevant to meeting the physical, cognitive, cultural, and communication needs of children and youth with DCD.

S7: Familiarity with the use of developmentally appropriate classroom management strategies that are appropriate for supporting the needs of students with DCD.

K10: Knowledge of sources and uses of appropriate materials and equipment to meet the needs of children and youth with DCD (including adaptive, augmentative, and assistive technologies).


In Unit 4, Adaptations and Modifications for Learning of the specialized competency area Developmental Cognitive Disabilities, the paraprofessional had the opportunity to learn the following:

Lesson 1—Adapting Curriculum and Instruction:

  • The paraprofessional plays a role in adapting and modifying instruction for students with DCD under the supervision of the special education and classroom teachers.
  • Adaptations and modifications to the curriculum and instruction should always be based on the needs of the student as identified in his/her IEP.
  • There are three key areas for making adaptations and modifications:giving directions for tasks, activities, and assignments; adapting curriculum and instructional methods; and revising learning and teaching strategies.

Lesson 2—Managing Behaviors:

  • Students with DCD may or may not have behavior challenges at school, but when they do, one of your responsibilities as a paraprofessional is to create a supportive environment that helps the student perform more successfully at school by learning more socially acceptable behaviors.
  • Behavior has a communicative nature; through specific behaviors the student with DCD is trying to tell you and others something about his/her current situation.
  • There are a number of ways that may help you manage the student’s behavior and help them develop better ways to communicate needs from removing the causes and stimuli that cause the undesirable behavior to controlling and adapting the environment to increase positive and desirable behaviors.
  • Consistency is key.

Lesson 3—Adapting the Educational Environment:

  • The classroom needs to be a place that enriches and nurtures the learning of all students.
  • Students with DCD often benefit when simple modifications are made to the educational environment.
  • The paraprofessional needs to work with the special education and classroom teachers to create a place where learning is excellent for all students, with and without disabilities.

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