An Educational Intervention to Promote IEP Collaboration with Elementary Students
Aims: This study aimed to explore the occupational therapists' perceptions of collaborating with elementary students when developing Individualized Education Program (IEP) goals in the education plan. Methods: Sixteen occupational therapists (n = 16) participated in a mixed method pre- and post-experimental study using a one-module educational intervention based on adult learning theories. Results were analyzed descriptively and quantitatively using the Sign Test. Results: The educational intervention significantly changed the occupational therapists' perceptions (Mdn = 1.0) from not collaborating to collaborating with elementary students. However, the participants reported that the organization and team support, time, confidence, and student's functional ability negatively impact their practice to collaborating inclusively. The participants found that group learning activities, literature about collaboration, and paper resources were effective during the educational intervention. Discussion: Outcome measures revealed the educational intervention was effective to inform the occupational therapists about inclusive practices to include elementary students when developing IEP goals. The educational intervention contained evidence-based content and was designed based on blending adult learning principles to construct and apply new knowledge. The pilot study had limitations that can help refine future trainings to include other IEP team members. Conclusion: The educational intervention helped the occupational therapists reflect their perceptions to practice inclusively and equitably in giving elementary students a voice in choice of desired IEP goals. Through collaboration, occupational therapists can shape the elementary student's goals in accordance with the IEP plan. As a client-centered profession, occupational therapists must remain grounded and include elementary students as part of the IEP team.