Research and Interventions for Practitioners: Evidence-Based Best Practices

This issues of NASET’s Classroom Management series was written by Marissa Desiree Pardo. Since the creation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, students with disabilities have been legally provided access to appropriate education and related services free of cost to their parents. These supports are offered by their school to provide them with equal opportunities to succeed in an educational setting that is appropriate for them. With more opportunities than ever for a SWD to be able to succeed academically in school and acquire functional daily living skills, SWDs would be receiving everything they can possibly require to achieve success for their future. Unfortunately, there are many factors that make this goal difficult to reach. For students with behavioral disabilities, key issues that prevent teachers from providing the right supports include inadequate training, lack of collaboration between the school and families, the use of traditional disciplinary methods, immediately reacting to problem behavior without a plan, and lack of knowledge of available behavioral plans. Some successful interventions and practices for SWDs with pervasive behavioral challenges include a school-wide approach to discipline, the involvement of families in meaningful ways, the use of innovative prevention methods rather than traditional discipline methods, positive and negative reinforcement towards inappropriate student behavior, and the use of a positive behavior plan. For students with academic disabilities, key issues that prevent teachers from providing the right supports include a “one size fits all” method of teaching, a hesitancy to teach SWDs in a general education setting, a growing and diverse student population, a lack of training for teachers, and a lack of resources. Some successful interventions and practices for SWDs with pervasive academic challenges include differentiated instruction, a multi-tiered system of supports, a universal design for learning, a school-wide approach to academic supports, and the use of progress monitoring.

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