1st Edition

Navigating Special Education Relationships Building Collective Efficacy for a Collaborative Team

By Amanda Ly, Lori Boll Copyright 2024
    200 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    200 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Told through a series of real-life stories and hard-learned lessons, Amanda Ly and Lori Boll share the challenges in special education relationships experienced through the lens of a special educator, a parent of a son with profound disabilities, and a child psychologist.

    Ideally, teachers, therapists, and parents working with students with special needs should form a cohesive team. However, these three parties often function as separate entities with different goals and objectives. Over the past 25 years, the authors have observed a consistent pattern of miscommunication and overlooking the importance of the mental and physical well-being of each team member, which contributed to poor collaboration. This book takes readers on a journey through the process of discovering whether you have, or are working with, a student with special needs; navigating how to best work with the student and other members of the team; and lastly, discussing ways to empower the reader and all members of the team. The authors posit that if we understand one another's perspectives, learn how to communicate more effectively, and focus on self-care, we will increase Collective Efficacy and become the collaborative team our students need us to be.

    As the first book to connect the concept of Collective Efficacy to special education, this is a must-read for teachers, therapists, and parents aiming to grasp the complexities of relationships in special education teams and better understand how mental health influences the effectiveness of each individual’s role.

    Introduction to Navigating Special Education Relationships  Part I: Discovering  1. Collective Efficacy  2. Discovering a Disability: Sniffing Socks and an Autism Diagnosis  3. Discovering the Diagnostic Dilemma: To Label or Not  4. Discovering Complications with the Diagnostic Process: The Gatekeeper Problem  5. Discovering Prevalence Rates and Screening Tools  6. Discovering the Diagnostic Assessment Process  7. Discovering the Diagnostic Process in School Settings: Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS)  8. Discovering Concerns and Fears: Supporting General Education Teachers  9. Discovering the Realities of a Diagnosis: It’s Hard  Part II: Navigating   10. Navigating Through the Educational Jargon: Enough with the Acronyms Already  11. Navigating Concerns Relating to Educational Setting: School Placement and Goodness of Fit  12. Navigating School Transitions  13. Navigating Mistrust: Presume Competence  14. Navigating Professional Relationships: I’ve Been Teaching Longer than you’ve Been Alive, Honey  15. Navigating Through Misguided Notions: Golden Ticket  16. Navigating Different Schools of Thought: Old School Versus New School  17. Navigating Bias: There’s No Such Thing as a Lazy Kid  18. Navigating Relationships with the Most Important Member of our Team: Fake it ‘til you Make it  19. Navigating Miscommunication: Mind the Gap  20. Navigating Team Success: Yes, We Can  Part III: Empowering   21. Empowering You to Have a Difficult Conversation: Turn In  22. Empowering Confidence: Imposter Syndrome  23. Empowering Your Mental and Physical Health: Self-Care


    Amanda Ly holds a PhD in School Psychology and Board Certification in Behavior Analysis-Doctoral (BCBA-D) and has worked in private and group practices throughout the United States, China, and Singapore. She is a parent of a typically developing daughter and a child psychologist, bringing over 22 years of rich experience working with young people with various disabilities.

    Lori Boll holds two master’s degrees in Reading and Special Education and has taught in the United States, Saipan, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, China, and Thailand. She is the mother of a daughter and an adult son with profound autism, shaping her core beliefs around supporting all learners and their families. Lori has presented at multiple international educational conferences. She is currently the Executive Director of the Special Education Network and Inclusion Association (SENIA).

    "The authors’ extensive international experience will facilitate effective collaboration between educators, professionals and parents to create effective programs for students with disabilities.”

    Temple Grandin, author of Visual Thinking: The Hidden Gifts of People Who Think in Pictures, Patterns, and Abstractions


    "I expected this book to speak to my intellect and to my practice. The best professional texts do that. Boll and Ly's Navigating Special Education Relationships went beyond. It spoke to my heart. The best colleagues do that."

    Cornelius Minor, Brooklyn-based educator and author


    "Navigating Relationships in Special Education reminds us that when educators work together and believe in the goodness of people, we can truly make a difference in this world."

    Tim Villegas, Director of Communications, Maryland Coalition for Inclusive Education (MCIE)

    Founder of Think Inclusive


    “It is difficult to think of a more comprehensive and helpful book on the complex dimensions of special education.   The power of this book is two-fold.  First, it offers rich, up-to-date information.  Even more importantly, the book was created by caring individuals who, themselves, have experienced firsthand the challenges of teaching children with exceptionalities as well as having lived through the experience of being parents of children with special needs.  This book is indeed a gift to all educators and parents who seek the understanding required to support children with exceptionalities today.”

    Edward E. Greene, Ph.D.

    Executive Director EARCOS (East Asia Regional Council of Schools)


    “The authors provide an honest and important discussion with regards to many factors which make it difficult for children with Autism Spectrum and learning differences to be diagnosed and educated within our public and private schools. They also offer important tips to parents to help them anticipate some of the hurdles they may encounter as well as tips for how best to navigate through them.” 

    Michelle Garcia Winner, MA-CCC

    Founder of the Social Thinking Methodology

    Speech Language Pathologist


    "Drawing upon their vast expertise in international education, these authors skillfully navigate the intricate terrain of inclusive education, blending personal experiences with in-depth analysis and expertise. Their profound understanding of global educational dynamics enriches the discourse, making the chapters an essential read for anyone within the field of international education."

    Dana Specker Watts, Ph.D.

    Director of Learning, Research and Outreach

    International School Services (ISS)