The Journal of Special Education Apprenticeship


Students with moderate to severe disabilities benefit most when interdisciplinary teams collaborate to deliver individualized instruction, supports and services. This research study seeks to capture a description of education specialists’ collaborative experiences working with interdisciplinary teams composed of speech language pathologists, occupational therapists, adapted physical educators, school psychologists and school nurses. The central question that guided this study asked K-12 education specialists to describe how they collaborate with their interdisciplinary teams in four domains of assessment, curriculum development, instruction, and progress monitoring. A descriptive mixed methods approach, which included surveys and interviews, was used to explore this experience. Overall, education specialists reported that teams collaborate most frequently in the areas of assessment and IEP goal development. Findings indicate that teams respectfully share resources, knowledge of students and behavior support expertise, but lack consistency and a shared systematic approach towards collaboration, especially in the areas of instruction and progress monitoring. Implications for practice and research will be described.