Team Models

Disciplinary Relationships on Teams

How disciplinary teams work together

Several types of teams are within the school system and many of them focus on student success. Teams working together to achieve the same goal will be successful in helping students with their academic performance. A few of the teams that are included in this flyer are multidisciplinary teams, interdisciplinary teams, and transdisciplinary teams.

Types of student centered teams

Multidisciplinary Team

In this model, there is little interaction between all of those involved with the student during the evaluation process. The testing team usually consists of a speech language pathologist, occupational therapist and physical therapist-if need- the school psychologist, and any other professional testing administrator that is necessary to fully evaluate the needs of the student. It is at the MDT meeting that everyone involved with the student finds out the results of the evaluations and the students verification. Parents are to be treated as equal participants in these meetings. In the past year I have been part of many MDT meetings and at these meetings, the more the parents know, the easier the transition is to Special Education for all of those involved. This meeting is formed to let everyone who works with the student to be able to understand the current evaluations, the students strengths and the students struggles. After the team determines that the student verifies for Special Education and all team members agree with the verification, everyone at the meeting signs off of the paperwork that they agree with the recommendation. In this model, there is little interaction between all of those involved during the evaluation process. It is at the MDT meeting that everyone involved with the student finds out the results of the evaluations and the students verification. After the MDT meeting, the Special Education teacher sets up and IEP within 30 days of having the MDT meeting.

Interdisciplinary Teams

An interdisciplinary team consists of the family and professionals who are engaged in supporting the individual. The team typically includes at minimum the individual with severe communication disabilities, a family member or guardian, a speech-language pathologist, and a teacher (general or special education). Other members may include, but are not limited to, an occupational therapist, physical therapist, general education and/or special education teacher, direct care staff, employer/job coach, psychologist, and social worker.The role of the interdisciplinary team is to work cooperatively to provide discipline-specific assessment and intervention, although some cross-disciplinary activity may occur as team members collaborate in the delivery of communication services and supports. They discuss their findings and activities to seek consensus and to develop goals and plans as a team.

Transdisciplinary Team

Bruder (1994) describes this approach in more detail:

"A transdisciplinary approach requires the team members to share roles and systematically cross discipline boundaries. The primary purpose of this approach is to pool and integrate the expertise of team members so that more efficient and comprehensive assessment and intervention services may be provided. The communication style in this type of team involves continuous give-and-take between all members (especially with the parents) on a regular, planned basis. Professionals from different disciplines teach, learn, and work together to accomplish a common set of intervention goals for a child and her family. The role differentiation between disciplines is defined by the needs of the situation rather than by discipline-specific characteristics. Assessment, intervention, and evaluation are carried out jointly by designated members of the team. This teamwork usually results in a decrease in the number of professionals who interact with the child on a daily basis."

In my professional opinion, I would have to say that the IEP team is the transdisciplinary team. This team meets to discuss strengths, struggles, ideas for improvement for student success in the classroom, and how to help increase student performance in all academic areas.

Multidisciplinary, Interdisciplinary and Transdisciplinary