Spring 2018

Document Type

Master's Thesis (Open Access)

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Teacher Education


Behavior management plays a key role in a classroom to help support and create a positive environment. In the special education classroom, the teacher along with the paraprofessionals are responsible for implementing the behavior management plan for the classroom. This collaboration between the paraprofessional and the classroom teacher is essential as students with moderate to severe disabilities often have intellectual disabilities, emotional disabilities, and typically these students have existing behavior problems (Olson, Platt, & Dieker, 2008). This single case A-B-C design study investigated the role of paraprofessionals use of break cards in a special education classroom. The four paraprofessionals (participants) were given a six-hour training on Handle With Care©. This training was designed to provide the paraprofessionals with behavior management strategies for working with challenging student behavior, specifically use of break cards. The researcher found that training paraprofessionals to use break cards in the classroom with students with moderate to severe disabilities was somewhat effective. Future studies should implement more training and for a longer period of time to ensure implementation of the behavior management strategy.