Dual certified SLP-BCBAs are rare in our therapist community, so many providers find it very difficult when collaborating with other professionals who overlap the scope of care. I am discussing a great professional article that tackles this hot topic with my former supervisee and fellow SLP and BCBA, Eleyonzettah E. Bonilla. The article, Interprofessional Collaborative Practice Between Behavior Analysts, and Speech-Language Pathologists, is available on ABAI.
For many SLPs or BCABs, it is difficult to see when other people are doing what you are trained to do. It can often feel like you’re being encroached on. This is bound to happen when many times the care requires an overlap. Eleyonzettah and I talk about how crucial it is to embrace this overlap. The article actually discusses the importance of highlighting the strengths of the different providers. When working with two providers who have knowledge about multiple different points of care, you have an advantage.
Training can be a great aspect of collaboration. When working with other providers, you can facilitate role extension and role release. While you may not ask another provider to teach a skill from scratch, you can release an extension of practicing a skill by training the other provider on what you need from the learner. We do not own these skills, the skills are there as points for teaching.
When facilitating a collaborative relationship, professionalism is key. Eleyonzettah and I both relate to having poor encounters with other professionals. We feel that many other SLP or BCBAs also encounter other professionals they do not care for, this does not mean every encounter has to be negative. It is important to keep language and communication clear and productive. When you’re speaking with another provider during collaborative work, the patient should be first. You are a team with the goal of helping the learner.
Discussing this secret problem in the ABA community, Eleyonzettah and I kept coming back to a common theme. The child, learner, or patient comes first! Our job is to facilitate learning and quality of life for our learners and collaborating with other professionals can sometimes be the only way to do that!
I enjoyed this discussion with Elenyonzettah greatly and it is my hope that you found some tips or beneficial information in today’s episode that you can put into practice right away!
As a multi-lingual (i.e., English, Spanish, French, ASL) speech-language pathologist and BCBA in private practice, Eleyonzettah is passionate about working with neurodiverse adults and children. Her double master’s degree in communicative disorders and psychology has strengthened her passion and innovation for providing specialized ABA and skilled speech therapy services for neurodiverse adults and children including those with autism, ADHD, dyslexia, and executive function disorder. Collaborating with other professionals in her private practice has allowed her to manage an outpatient clinic where quality patient care is consistently the utmost priority.
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