Young children often present with challenging behaviors such as tantrums, aggression, and noncompliance. Rates of expulsion for behavior concerns in early childhood are alarming and can have long-term negative implications for children and their families (Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center, 2022). Implementation of a systematic multi-tiered system of supports framework can improve behavioral outcomes of young children. To effectively meet child and family needs within these frameworks, it is integral for members of the team to collaborate. Interdisciplinary teams within early childhood might include families, teachers, school psychologists, behavior analysts, speech language pathologists, physical therapists, occupational therapists and other related mental health and medical providers. The Interprofessional Education Collaborative outlined competencies for interdisciplinary collaborative practice that are organized within four domains: values and ethics, roles/responsibilities, interdisciplinary communication, and teams/teamwork. To facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration (IC) in practice, it is important to provide opportunities for collaboration across disciplines within coursework and field experiences. In this paper, we provide an example of an interdisciplinary training program to support behavioral and mental health needs of children. The training includes graduate students in applied behavior analysis, school psychology, and special education. Scholars participating in the program complete coursework for their specific programs in addition to joint coursework, seminars, and practicum activities in school settings. Throughout the program, scholars gain knowledge and skills in eight competencies identified for the program. Based on the literature and our training experience, we also outline insights and actions for training at the university-level and practitioner-level to implement interdisciplinary teaming.
Challenging behaviors such as tantrums, aggression, and noncompliance are common for young children, but can interfere with learning and getting along with others. Early childhood education teams are often created to help support children’s success. The teams might include families, teachers, school psychologists, behavior analysts, speech language pathologists, physical therapists, occupational therapists and other related mental health and medical providers. To prepare new educators and related service providers to work together in teams, it is important to give them opportunities to collaborate across disciplines within coursework and field experiences. In this paper, we describe a university interdisciplinary program. We offer suggestions for universities interested in developing interdisciplinary programs and ways that people working in early childhood can improve interdisciplinary teaming.
Kupzyk, Sara; Bassingthwaite, Brenda; Weaver, ADam D.; and Nordness, Philip D. Dr.
"Interdisciplinary Collaborative Practice in Early Childhood,"
Perspectives on Early Childhood Psychology and Education: Vol. 7:
2, Article 7.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.pace.edu/perspectives/vol7/iss2/7
Issue two “Helping Relevant Stakeholders Promote Behavioral Outcomes in Early Childhood."