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Specialized Competency

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Area Introduction

This specialized area of Para eLink is focused on Developmental Cognitive Disabilities (DCD). Today, many children come to school with a variety of different cognitive and/or developmental disabilities. These disabilities impact the students’ school lives in a wide variety of ways. However, when these students are viewed as unique and supported by their educational team through individualized approaches, it is possible for them to experience success at school with or without special education supports.

Supporting students with DCD in the educational setting is a unique and challenging situation for many paraprofessionals. This Para eLink area is designed to help you learn about and understand your role in supporting students with DCD.

This area includes four units:

  1. Understanding Developmental Cognitive Disabilities (addresses competencies K1, K2, K4, and K5)
  2. The Paraprofessional's Role in Supporting Students with Developmental Cognitive Disabilities (addresses competencies K6, K8, K11, K12, K13, and K14)
  3. Supporting Students with Developmental Cognitive Disabilities (addresses competencies K7, S1, S2, S3, S4, and S8)
  4. Developmental Cognitive Disabilities: Adaptations and Modifications for Learning (addresses competencies K3, K9, K10, S5, S6, and S7)

Each unit presents important information that will help you support students who qualify for special education under the DCD category. You will get a basic overview of DCD, including key historical information on DCD, criteria and processes for determining student eligibility for special education under the DCD category, and educational options for students who are determined eligible for services relating to DCD. You will also learn about the roles of paraprofessionals, educators, and other educational professionals in supporting students with DCD and the importance of good communication with students, students’ families, and the community. The IEP process is covered, as are the referral, assessment, and placement procedures specific to teaching students with DCD. The purpose and intended outcomes of the re-evaluation process are discussed as well as the need for service and the determination of the level of supports needed. You will become familiar with the basic strategies and techniques used to support students with DCD, including the use and maintenance of adaptive equipment, how to assist students with mobility, self-care, health, safety, and personal support needs, and communications systems and basic emergency and accident procedures. Finally, you will learn basic instructional strategies and techniques that are used to support students with DCD.

Each unit is an important part of working in an education setting. Developmental Cognitive Disabilities is a complex subject and for this reason it is best to start with the first unit in the list (Understanding Developmental Cognitive Disabilities) and work through each unit in consecutive order. You will find that what you have learned in one unit will inform your understanding in the next. It is our hope that when you complete the eLink training you will have a perspective and set of skills that will enable you to work more effectively with children and be able to more effectively collaborate with your supervisor and other staff.

(Clicking the hyperlinked competency code, e.g., DCD-K1, will take you to the associated training unit.)

Developmental Cognitive Disabilities (Knowledge-Based)
DCD-K1 Understanding of basic historical, legal, and contemporary issues related to services and the educational approaches used to address the needs of children and youth with developmental cognitive disabilities (DCD).

DCD-K2 Understanding of the origins, basic characteristics, and classifications of DCD.

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

DCD-K4 Understanding of the sources of unique services, networks, agencies, and organizations for students with DCD.
DCD-K5 Understanding of the services and structures supporting interagency collaboration for students with DCD.

DCD-K6 Understanding of the referral, assessment, planning, and placement procedures specific to teaching students with DCD.

DCD-K7 Knowledge of basic personal support needs of students with DCD (including the medical complications and implications of tube feeding, catheterization, seizure management, and CPR).

DCD-K8 Understanding of how the Individualized Education Program (IEP) is used to design and implement developmentally appropriate instruction for students with DCD.
DCD-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.

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).

DCD-K11 Knowledge of the role of related service providers (physical therapy, occupational therapy, vision services, etc.).

DCD-K12 Understanding of the paraprofessional’s role regarding communication with students, students’ families, and the community that supports students’ learning and well-being.

DCD-K13 Understanding of the paraprofessional’s role in working with providers of related services (physical therapy, occupational therapy, vision services, etc.).

DCD-K14 Understanding of the paraprofessional’s role within the roles and responsibilities of teachers and support personnel in providing educational services to students with DCD.

Developmental Cognitive Disabilities (Skill-Based)
DCD-S1 Basic knowledge of how to effectively use and maintain orthodic, prosthetic, and personal assistive and adaptive equipment.

DCD-S2 Familiarity with the use of recommended mobility techniques for supporting students with DCD.

DCD-S3 Familiarity with strategies used to support the self-care, health, and safety needs of students with DCD.

DCD-S4 Familiarity with basic emergency and accident procedures useful with students with DCD.

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.

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).

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

DCD-S8 Familiarity with the use and maintenance of alternative and augmentative communication systems appropriate for student with DCD.


Review

pdf iconpdf     text iconrtf

Your facilitator may ask you to turn in a written copy of the area review, in which case you can use either the pdf or rtf file. If your facilitator wants you to submit an electronic file, download the rtf file and open it in a Word Processor.


Area Evaluation

 

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