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2: Working Collaboratively
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- 2.1: What is Collaboration?
- Collaboration is a necessity when working with exceptional students. Exceptional students may receive instruction in a general education classroom with the support of a special educator and paraprofessional while also receiving related services from different clinicians throughout the school day.
- 2.2: Collaboration Among Teachers
- Teachers use different co-teaching models. When co-teaching, general and special education teachers or other specialized teachers (e.g., reading specialists) work together to plan and facilitate lessons for a class that includes students with disabilities.
- 2.3: Collaboration with Paraprofessionals
- Teachers and clinicians regularly collaborate with paraprofessionals, who are sometimes referred to as paraeducators, aides, or education support professionals. Paraprofessionals provide specific classroom or student support and are supervised by teachers.
- 2.4: Collaboration with Clinicians
- Teachers and clinicians collaborate when students receive related services. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) ensures that related services are delivered in a student’s least restrictive environment.
- 2.5: Collaboration with Teams
- In addition to collaborating with individuals, teachers and clinicians collaborate on teams, specifically on multidisciplinary teams (MDTs) that require the meaningful involvement of students and families.
- 2.6: Collaborations with Families
- The IDEA ensures students and their families are involved in the education process. For example, states must provide Parent Training and Information Centers and Community Parent Resource Centers. These centers help students with disabilities and their families understand their rights and connect them with appropriate services.
- 2.7: Increasing Student Involvement
- It is important for students to participate actively in their IEP meetings beginning in elementary school and to be actively involved in their transition planning in high school. Student participation in IEP meetings can be improved by ensuring families know their child is invited to participate.
- 2.9: Collaboration with Communities
- Future teachers and clinicians will work with community organizations when students transition from early intervention to preschool to school-age programs and when they transition from high school to postsecondary education, employment, and independent living. Identifying the best practices associated with community collaboration is essential.
- 2.10: Chapter Questions and References