The therapist(s) role in the Collaborative is to provide services to students through an integrated therapy model. Team collaboration is the heart of the integrated therapy model. The team works together for the functional independence and success of the students. The team arrives at a shared set of goals for the students and implementation occurs across the routines of the day.
Using this model, therapists work with the students within the classroom environment and during naturally occurring routines and activities. It helps reduce the students’ need to generalize skills from a clinical or “pull out” model to realistic situations that occur within the classroom and school environment. It also increases opportunities for peer modeling and frequent practice of targeted objectives. Various therapists may also be in the classroom for the same block of time to “co-treat” or implement strategies that draw on their combined expertise.
The model also includes consultation, program monitoring and staff training. Therapists train teaching staff to extend therapeutic interventions into classroom activities and other on-going activities that occur throughout the student’s day. The therapists determine recommendations for service delivery, develop IEP goals and benchmarks specific to discipline, is an active member of the multidisciplinary team to best meet students’ needs, consults with staff and other professionals to ensure generalization of newly learned skills, and implements staff training and parent education.