Document Type

Student Research Paper


Spring 2018

Academic Department


Faculty Advisor(s)

Dr. Shannon Haley-Mize.


Special education teachers and paraprofessionals work together on a daily basis during school hours to assist individuals with disabilities. Throughout the school day, these coworkers interact directly and indirectly with each other. The conversations and interactions between these individuals could have an effect on the students within the classroom either positively or negatively, depending on the interaction. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between effective classroom communication and student behavior and classroom efficiency or loss of instruction time. This mixed methodology study included input from two different special education teachers from two schools in Pennsylvania and six different paraprofessionals. It also included observational data from thirteen students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The major findings focus upon the benefits of classroom organization as well as open and positive exchanges between the adults within the classroom.


Master’s thesis (M.Ed.)—Special Education.