Western PA School Staffing Shortages Leaving SpEd Students Struggling
[Source: Disability Scoop]
Before bedtime last school year, Melissa Skiffen sat with her son and showed him a picture of the new teacher assistant in his classroom to make him more comfortable with the person who would help him throughout the next day.
Her son, who has Down Syndrome and autism, often struggles to understand why the same people aren’t always in his classroom. So Ms. Skiffen takes extra steps like finding photographs and having conversations with her son to make changes easier.
That became vital last year when a paraprofessional — an aide that helps teachers in the classroom — her son had worked with for years left the Penn-Trafford School District. A second left two months into the school year. A third paraprofessional was hired three weeks later and has been with him since. In between, various school staffers floated into the classroom to help her child.
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