Children with developmental disabilities and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder often engage in challenging behavior when presented with academic demands. Parents of school-age children with such diagnoses are commonly asked to assist their child with academic tasks but may struggle to do so as a result of challenging behavior. This study evaluated the effects of a parent education intervention on the challenging behaviors and task engagement of three school-age children with disabilities during academic activities. Parent education consisted of (i) weekly didactic instruction; (ii) modeling; (iii) role-play; and (iv) in vivo coaching and performance feedback. Using a non-concurrent multiple baseline across participants with embedded individual multi-element design, this study demonstrates that a parent education intervention results in decreases in challenging behavior and increases in task engagement. These results suggest that parent education focused on addressing challenging behavior during one-to-one instruction may facilitate completion of academic tasks. Implications for practice and suggestions for future research are discussed. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.