Inclusion moments for students with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities in mainstream schools: The teacher assistant’s role in supporting peer interactions

Ineke Haakma, Anke de Boer*, Sanne van Esch, Alexander Minnaert, Annette van der Putten

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
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In the Netherlands, the trend towards inclusion has led to the development of a ‘To School Together’ programme in which students with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities (PIMD) receive tailored care and education during the school day in a special classroom (‘To School Together’ class) within a mainstream school. Besides shared activities with other students with disabilities in the ‘To School Together’ classroom, inclusion moments are organised in which students with PIMD engage in activities with typically developing peers. A teaching assistant (TA) is present to support the student with PIMD. In this study, we explored the type of activities offered during these inclusion moments, the interaction between students with PIMD and their peers, and the role of TAs. Video recordings were made of three inclusion moments for eight students with PIMD. We coded the contact initiations of students with PIMD, their peers and TAs, and the responses to these initiations. The results show a total of 246 contact initiations by peers where students with PIMD responded positively 82 times, TAs attempted to facilitate interactions 55 times and students with PIMD responded positively 11 times. Based on our findings, we make several recommendations that can guide inclusive practices for students with PIMD.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-247
Number of pages17
JournalEuropean Journal of Special Needs Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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