Classroom assistant: promoting independence?

Margaret has working as a classroom assistant in the school for 20 years.  When she started, children with special needs were uncommon in the school and little was expected of them.  Now there are several children in the class and each child is expected to achieve his/her potential and to be independent wherever possible.  However, when children are given work, Margaret’s idea of helping them is to do it for them, e.g. given four sentences to order and stick down, Margaret numbers the parts for the children.  After P.E. she takes off Calum’s slippers and puts on his  shoes even though he is 8 and has problems other than a speech disorder.  If the teacher tells him to do it himself, Margaret will say that it is quicker if she does it.  Because the children in this class have speech and language problems, they are encouraged to collaborate and discuss work.  Margaret frequently can be found telling them to be quiet and get on with their work.