Effective Collaboration for School-Based Speech-Language Pathologists

presented by Kathleen Whitmire

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

    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 School Services in Speech-Language Pathology for the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), leading programs for over 50,000 speech-language pathologists working in the schools. Prior to that, she held positions as a clinic supervisor and lecturer at Syracuse University and as Assistant Professor and Chair of the Communication Disorders Department at The College of Saint Rose. She began her career as a school-based clinician in California and New York, where she worked for fourteen years. A nationally-certified speech-language pathologist, Dr. Whitmire is a board-certified specialist in child language and language disorders and is an ASHA Fellow. She has authored more than 30 peer-reviewed and invited journal articles and chapters, has served as guest editor for three professional journals, and sits on the editorial boards of Topics in Language Disorders and Communication Disorders Quarterly. She is currently serving as Vice President of the Communication Sciences and Disorders Research Group and Chair of the American Board of Child Language and Language Disorders. She has presented extensively at the international, national, and state levels on issues related to academic and social implications of disabilities in school-age children and adolescents, with particular interest in learning disabilities, stuttering, and deafness. She has also served in a variety of capacities for regional and state professional associations and boards, for which she has received two Distinguished Service Awards and a Special Citation. Dr. Whitmire received her MA, MS, and PhD from the University of Rochester.

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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  1. Introduction to Collaborative Approaches

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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.