7. SLP Collaboration

A new SLP joined an IEP team to discuss next year’s plan for an eight year old autistic girl. She was high functioning and verbal but with issues of pragmatics and social interaction. The SLP chimed in saying a collaborative plan might be a suitable approach to enhance essential communication and learning skills. The girl could spend more time in the classroom for natural peer interaction.

There was a moment of dead silence. The SLP went on to mention a few intervention ideas. No response.

Then the school psychologist spoke up and said he didn’t care for the idea much. “I’m a meat and potatoes man,” he said. The team settled on a plan for pull out services.

After the meeting, the director called the SLP to her office and asked shortly: “Now, what’s this collaboration thing you’re talking about?”

Three months later the director circulated a special education magazine to the staff. The cover announced that the whole issue was devoted to the topic of collaboration in special education.

There is no guarantee local school personnel will know about collaboration, have skills in it, or be receptive to it.

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