Seeking Team Collaboration, Dialogue and Support: The Perceptions of Multidisciplinary Staff-Members Working in ASD Preschools

Abstract

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) impacts various developmental domains, requiring interventions by professionals from multiple disciplines. In Israel, ASD community preschools’ multidisciplinary teams aim to provide each child with an integrative intervention program. The current study focused on the working experience of 21 professionals from multidisciplinary teams in ASD-preschools, with special emphasis on their perceptions of the intra-staff dialogue in their teams. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed through grounded theory. Arising themes covered: challenges characterizing the delivery of intervention to children with ASD in a community setting; challenges met by professionals when attempting to navigate multidisciplinary teamwork; and factors that facilitate multidisciplinary work. Practices that support multidisciplinary team cohesion at the team, the organizational, and the policy-making levels are discussed.

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Acknowledgments

We would like to thank the Association for Children at Risk, Israel, and the community preschool professionals who participated in the current study. We are grateful to Drs. Rivka Tuval-Mashiach and Aubyn Stahmer for helpful comments on an earlier draft of this paper.

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YSG, OG, TG and IMS designed the study, YSG collected the data and analyzed it with OG. YSG and OG wrote the manuscript. All authors commented on the manuscript and approved it.

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Correspondence to Ofer Golan.

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Appendix: Example of interview questions

Appendix: Example of interview questions

  1. 1.

    What are the main challenges you meet when working in your preschool setting?

  2. 2.

    Describe the techniques and practices you employ in your work.

  3. 3.

    How do you decide which treatment objectives you will work on with a specific child?

  4. 4.

    Describe the supervision you receive in your line of work.

  5. 5.

    What are your experiences of the internal dialogue between different members of your team?

  6. 6.

    If you had the opportunity, what changes would you make in your work in order to feel more satisfied with your work, or the setting? Feel free to speak about any changes that come to mind.

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Sinai-Gavrilov, Y., Gev, T., Mor-Snir, I. et al. Seeking Team Collaboration, Dialogue and Support: The Perceptions of Multidisciplinary Staff-Members Working in ASD Preschools. J Autism Dev Disord 49, 4634–4645 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-019-04175-x

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Keywords

  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Pre-school children
  • Policy
  • Education services
  • Health services
  • Qualitative research