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Effective Collaboration for School-Based Speech-Language Pathologists

presented by Kathleen Whitmire

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial: Kathleen Whitmire, receives compensation from MedBridge for this course. There is no financial interest beyond the production of this course.


Non-Financial: Kathleen Whitmire, has no competing non-financial interests or relationships with regard to the content presented in this course.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

MedBridge is committed to accessibility for all of our subscribers. If you are in need of a disability-related accommodation, please contact [email protected]. We will process requests for reasonable accommodation and will provide reasonable accommodations where appropriate, in a prompt and efficient manner.

Accreditation Check:
In order to design and implement educationally relevant assessments and interventions, school-based speech-language pathologists (SLPs) must engage in effective collaboration with classroom teachers and other colleagues. However, the complexities of the school setting and the lack of adequate training in collaborative approaches result in a range of challenges and barriers to realizing the potential benefits for students, teachers, and SLPs. This course examines several models of collaboration and when to use them, and provides strategies and tools for successful collaborative interactions.

Meet Your Instructor

Kathleen Whitmire, PhD, CCC-SLP (Retired), BCS-CL (Retired), ASHA Fellow

Dr. Whitmire is President of SDG Enterprise, an education consulting firm. She previously served as Director of Educational Programs and Director of the RTI Action Network for the National Center for Learning Disabilities, responsible for school reform initiatives with a global reach to millions of students and educators. In addition, she served as Director of…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Introduction to Collaborative Approaches

This chapter discusses the need for effective skills in collaboration, engages participants in reflecting on this topic, and then offers a three-prong framework for collaborative approaches. By listing demands on SLPs that require collaboration with classroom teachers and other colleagues, we'll present a broad perspective on various forms of collaboration.

2. Co-teaching that Works

The potential of co-teaching is too often lost because of uninformed attempts to implement it. Not all approaches to co-teaching are the same! This chapter describes five distinct models of co-teaching, and when, why, and how to use them. By discussing the differences between one and two-teacher classrooms, we'll distinguish the keys to successful co-teaching habits and models that are currently in place.

3. Serving as a Consultant

Consultation can be a very efficient and effective way to provide indirect services to students. However, few SLPs formalize this to take advantage of best practice and to document these services on IEPs, in their workload and on their schedules. This chapter addresses strategies for incorporating consultation into the SLP’s workload.

4. Effective Teams

SLPs serve on a number of teams in school settings. However, some of those teams are significantly less effective than others. This chapter approaches teams in terms of the life cycle, tips for success, and barriers to avoid or resolve.

5. Implementing Collaboration in the Schools: Challenges and Solutions

Collaboration can be undermined by three critical challenges – lack of time for joint planning, confusion and overlap of roles between the classroom teacher and the SLP, and conflict that is eventually inevitable. This chapter examines these three challenges and presents solutions that can lead to productive collaboration.

6. Building Successful Collaborative Relationships

Truly effective collaboration requires the solid foundation of a collegial relationship. This final chapter discusses the importance of investing in the time needed to establish that relationship through honest and meaningful conversations, and offers topics for helpful discussions.

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