EA, Skills Trainer, Paraprofessional - what is the difference? And have they been helpful for your child? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 06-21-2008, 09:31 PM - Thread Starter
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I hear these three words being thrown around as we move forward to our first IEP meeting for my DD:
  • Educational Assistant
  • Skills Trainer
  • Paraprofessional

Can anyone explain the difference between these three to me?

Also, if your child has had one of these people, was it helpful and why?
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#2 of 3 Old 06-21-2008, 11:05 PM
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I don't really know the difference between them but I'm guessing that the educational assistant will focus on classroom academics, the skills trainer likely on any type of skills that are in the IEP and the para with everything else.

My daughter shared a para and it was mainly for pottying. The para was there to help guide her from activity to activity in the beginning but once my daughter got the routine down she no longer needed the para for guidance.
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#3 of 3 Old 06-22-2008, 08:43 AM
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The aide in DS' classroom in CA was called a "para." I assume that was short for paraprofessional. She was in the classroom with DS and 3 other special education students. I don't think she had any degrees or anything. (She was awesome.) In VA they usually talk about aides so I think it is just a difference in vocabulary.

I don't know about the others.

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