A Mother's Perspective on the Paraeducator of her Daughter with Autism

This article begins with a general overview of autism and how prevalent it has become. history of autism is the state of Vermont. From there, the article describes the experiences of two different mothers of children with autism and goes over some of the difficulties that they face.

One mother explains the transition that she went through in her attitude towards her daughter's paraeducator:

Learning to trust her child’s care to the school’s choice of paraeducator was difficult for Holzinger’s mother. At first, Miller didn’t want Pelkey to work with her daughter and requested a background check. Now, Miller says Pelkey (the paraeducator), who has a son with Asperger’s, has been a godsend to her daughter.

The paraeducator then describes some of the progress this student has made:

“It is a learning – teaching process,” said Pelkey. “We’ve used many forms of communication anything we have available – pictures, sign, spelling. She is so verbal now compared to what she used to be.”

Have any of the paraeducator's or teacher's out there ever faced a skeptical parent who needed a little help to understand the important role that para's play in the classroom?

The article is available at Finding their own way Mothers pioneer path for children with autism.



1 Comment


I resently started working with an 18 year old female...autisic student. This program was fairly new to me. I attended several conferences and classes. My student is a screamer. I would say she screams about 12 times a day. Some screams last for 2 minuted . I understand she started this after the doctors changed her medicine last summer. I have used boardmaker to up date her educational needs. We moved from one room to another room because we was in another room with a spitter and screamer...which made both of our students scream. I have spoken to several people about this. They say once a screamer always a screamer. She won't change. Mother wanted us to give her more space,
for every task she was to have that much free time. That is what I did. I asked parent if she every thought of sending her to Autism Center. Where she could get more one on one help. Well now we have to go from 15 small tasks to 4 tasks. I don't know what to do. I'm all most as frusterated as she is. Female student was evaulated by our county staff. County said, we just have to understand autism is a up and down day.

We will be moving into a new room this fall. Our school is under a lot of construction at this time.
I'm thinking about changing jobs. I don't really know what to do.