Recommended practices to organize and deliver school‐based services for children with disabilities: A scoping review
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BACKGROUND: Inclusive educational environments can have a positive effect on the general health and well-being of children with disabilities. However, their level of academic success and participation remains limited. Considering scarce resources and high needs, identifying efficient methods for providing interdisciplinary services is critical. This scoping review, therefore, aims to (a) synthesize current evidence about principles for organizing and delivering interdisciplinary school-based support services for students with disabilities and (b) ascertain useful strategies for implementation of principles in the school setting. METHODS: Scholarly and grey literature in rehabilitation and education were reviewed collaboratively with school-based stakeholders. A search of five databases identified 13,141 references and resulted in 56 relevant articles published from 1998 to 2017. Information (e.g., principles to organize services and strategies for implementation) was extracted, and thematic analysis was used to summarize findings. RESULTS: Within the documents retained, 65% were scientific and 35% were grey. Services primarily targeted students with behavioral issues, followed by those with cognitive and learning disabilities with a focus on improving social-emotional functioning and academic performance. Thematic analysis revealed 10 common principles to guide service organization (e.g., collaborative interventions and support for teachers) and seven implementation strategies (e.g., training and coordination) for employing these principles. CONCLUSIONS: Findings can guide rehabilitation professionals, educators, and policy makers in restructuring well-coordinated collaborative services involving training and capacity-building of school-based service providers. Such knowledge can contribute to the improved provision of care and, consequently, promote children's school participation and inclusion.
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