Home Forums Special Educators and School Administrators Can E-Therapists be part of the school IEP team?

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    Even though E-Therapists work remotely, they are absolutely part of the IEP team. What strategies have you found that work well for encouraging a team approach in teletherapy?



    Providing the school with Present Levels of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance (PLAAFP) in the area of your discipline provides your input into an IEP meeting. Giving a general summary of the students strengths and weaknesses and updating the IEP team on how the student is doing towards their IEP goals, shows the school you are very familiar with the student’s abilities and needs. You can then decide if the student’s frequency met his/her need for the previous IEP year or if frequency changes should be made based upon your observations and data. Also, communication with families and teachers in creating new IEP goals provides a collaborative team approach to serving high quality services to students.



    I think it’s important to establish good communication from the very beginning. Using the method of communication that is most convenient for the team (whether it’s phone calls, emails, or even a web meeting) helps encourage all members of the team to reach out. I also like meeting online once at the beginning of the school year or whenever you’re getting started so that everyone can see everyone else’s face and establish that connection from the start. I find it so much easier to pick up the phone or start an email to someone if I can picture who I’m talking to!



    I think that communicating frequently with other team members goes a long way. In telepractice, you can attend IEP meetings via phone or video conference. So, the therapist can participate in real time for the meetings just like the rest of the team.



    At the start of every school year, I send a short blurb to the onsite employees that I know I will be working with for the entire year, such as paraprofessionals and SpEd teachers/coordinators. I briefly include my professional experience (ex. I’ve been an SLP for 22 years) and also something personal (ex. I have 3 kids). It’s important to ‘manage up’ your skill set to give the team a sense of who you are and the confidence that they are in good hands with you. Like Jen mentioned above, I use whatever form of communication each team member is most comfortable with. I’ve found that the hands-on aides might not have time in their day or access to a computer to check email, but they keep their phone out at all times so a text is best with them. Teams are more receptive to staying in contact with me when I make it the most convenient for them. That goes a long way in being a fully operating member of the IEP team!

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