collaboration model

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Special Education Collaboration Model:

Special Education Collaboration Model EDCO 593 Professor Block Jenny Wronski Azusa Pacific University

History of Special Education:

History of Special Education Prior to legislation requiring public education for children with cognitive or emotional disabilities, deafness, blindness or the need for speech therapy, among others, parents had few options other than to educate their children at home or pay for expensive private education. In 1961 , President John F. Kennedy created the President’s Panel on Mental Retardation. The panel’s recommendations included federal aid to states Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which provided funding for primary education, and is seen by advocacy groups as expanding access to public education for children with disabilities.

Two Federal Laws:

Two Federal Laws The Education for All Handicapped Children Act ( EHA ) and the Individuals with Disabilities Act ( IDEA ). The EHA establishes a right to public education for all children regardless of disability , IDEA requires schools provide individualized or special education for children with qualifying disabilities . Under the IDEA, states who accept public funds for education must provide special education to qualifying children with disabilities.

PowerPoint Presentation:

The IDEA sets forth specific guidelines regarding Free Appropriate Public Education. Among these is the idea that education must be tailored to meet the needs of the individual child with a disability. This education must be of benefit to the child and should prepare the child for further education (i.e., college) or to live and work independently. The IDEA also requires that education occur in the least restrictive environment and requires schools to take a child’s disability into account when enforcing discipline.


Statistics According to the National Center for Education Statistics (2005), 6,633,902 students in the United States received special education services under Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part B during the 2003-2004 school year, an increase of 38.5 percent since the 1990-1991 school year.

Process of an IEP:

Process of an IEP Parents contact school Evaluation – doctor’s letter, interviews with teacher, specific testing Team meeting – parent, teachers, student, principal, speciality Eligibility Direct – specialized instructional services provided directly to the student Indirect – special education teacher consults with others to develop programs specific for the student. Related services – speech, language, psychological, occupational, hospital.

School Counselor Contribution:

School Counselor Contribution Specific ways that school counselors can collaborate with planning teams are discussed and direct links are made to Strength-Based School Counseling and the ASCA National Model. Within the ASCA National Model, school counselors are encouraged to pursue systemic change through leadership, advocacy, and collaboration. More specifically, ASCA provides that "advocating for students at individual education plan meetings” is an appropriate activity for school counselors as part of a comprehensive school counseling program.

School Counselor Contribution:

School Counselor Contribution School counselors are well suited to participate as team members during IEP meetings and shift the focus toward a strengths-based framework. With the school counselor's knowledge of group dynamics and communication, the counselor can fulfill a role as facilitator, model, and advocate in assisting in this important shift . During IEP meetings, school counselors can observe the interactions between school staff and families and note whether communication is one-way (perhaps with the school staff presenting information with little input from the student and family) or more collaborative and asset focused (with all members of the IEP team, including the student, participating equally).

Each IEP meeting includes discussion of the following:

Each IEP meeting includes discussion of the following current academic performance (i.e., student grades ) annual educational and other goals (if student has reached goals created at a previous meeting ) applicable special education services to be used (i.e., speech therapy or counseling ) participation and performance in standardized testing (i.e., accommodations for testing necessary for the coming year ) dates and places of special activities, and marking progress toward established goals and objectives (U.S. Department of Education, 2005).

Eligible categories:

Eligible categories This covers the areas of autism, cognitive disabilities, emotional behavioral disabilities, hearing impairments, orthopedic impairment, other health impairment, significant developmental delay, speech/language impairments, specific learning disabilities, traumatic brain injury, visual impairments, and the need for special education.

In conclusion:

In conclusion School counselors can model in IEP meetings, student support teams, and 504 meetings to improve the experience for these students and families. Furthermore, school counselors could perhaps provide training and consultation services to IEP coordinators and special educators creating an even greater overall impact.


Resources American School Counselor Association. (2005). The ASCA national model: A framework for school counseling programs (2nd ed.). Alexandria, VA: Author . Galassi , J. P., & Akos , P. (2007). Strengths-Based School Counseling: Promoting student development and achievement. Mahwah, N J: Lawrence Erlbaum . National Center of Education Statistics: http:// /

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