The second Professional Development Event I went to was all about Interprofessional Collaboration. I figured that this would be a good place to put down what I learned and my thoughts on the topic.
Interprofessional Collaboration (IPC) is when different professionals work together in order to benefit the child as a whole. Occupational therapists (OT), Speech and Language Pathologists (SLP), Social Workers (SW), Educational Psychologists (Ed. Psych.), Educational Assistants and teachers can all work together to provide support for every need that a child has.
In order to have successful IPC, there must be good communication and conflict resolution skills. Also, stereotypes need to be left behind in order to work efficiently (this comes from both sides).
The most interesting and beneficial thing I learned is that IPC groups can observe each other in the field. For example, a teacher is having difficulty with a few children in the class’ listening skills. An SLP and OT sit in on her teaching the class and afterwards, they strategize towards ways to improve the learning environment. This saves time and efforts for both groups. It can also work the other way. Often times, teachers don’t know what goes on in the private sessions between a student and an OT or SLP. If teachers know what these professionals are working on with their students, they can reinforce these ideas in the classroom every day, and model other students to reflect this, so the child can learn it faster and more seamlessly.
This subject is very interesting to me because it really is so practical. Teachers work with so many other professionals, so the relationship might as well be an efficient one!