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Schools troubled by shortage of special education aides

from Pioneer Press

Alyse Dansby helps with reading assignments, trots beside students in gym class and diffuses tension in the bustling cafeteria. It's her job to tell apart the kids set off by touch, the ones who crave it and the child who needs to carry a heavy box of textbooks to feel grounded. It's her job to spot the "Einstein-smart" kids behind walls of reticence. Dansby is a veteran aide, or paraprofessional, in the program for students with autism at St. Paul's Washington Technology Magnet School in Saint Paul, Minn., — and no day goes exactly as planned. This school year, program staffing has thrown many of the wrenches. more

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