Innovative Program of the Week – Collaborative Teams are the Key

Innovative Program of the Week – Collaborative Teams are the Key

ABC stands for Academic Behavior Consultant. Their group of experts help families navigate the special education process.  They provide trainings and consultations for families and educators on a wide variety of topics for students with special needs.

Collaborative Teams are the Key to Student Success
Michelle Davis knows that a collaborative approach, rather than an adversarial atmosphere is the only way to ensure that a truly child centered plan is created and implemented. She believes strongly in following evidence based practices and strives to help all members of the IEP Team see that they do have the ability to work with a wide variety of special needs students. Her focus is to ensure that advocacy is a positive thing and to create a collaborative atmosphere and an opportunity to do problem solving for a child.

From Functional to Flourishing
When I spoke with Michelle, she shared the story of a 17 year old girl who had been identified with an intellectual disability. She had been placed in a functional life skills program in a separate school, segregated from her non-disabled peers and without the opportunity to earn her diploma.

Michelle noted that there was a discrepancy between her verbal and nonverbal cognitive abilities and it was determined that she actually had a severe, specific learning disability. Michelle worked to gain access for her to an evidence based reading program where she was motivated to work on her literacy skills and became a functional reader. She graduated at age 21 and is now a successful community college student and gainfully employed.

Michelle says, “Advocacy is one of the keys to parent-school partnerships and parent-school partnerships are in themselves, evidence-based interventions. So when parents are working in tandem with the school team and are able to support the implementation of the IEP Team, using their advocacy skills and really their and their childs rights, that to me is the foundation of a successful program for a child.”

Michelle encourages parents to make every effort to fully  understand their rights. Keeping their child’s best interests in mind with a collaborative approach to advocacy skills can really work. It’s important to understand that evidence-based methods can be used within the general education setting to make a lot of children successful.

Michelle offers special needs advocacy training for educators and parents. For more information please visit

She has also authored two books, School Success for Kids With Emotional and Behavioral Disorders and Special Needs Advocacy Resource Book: What You Can Do Now to Advocate for Your Exceptional Child’s Education. Both are available at and

If you or someone you know has an innovative program worth interviewing we want to hear about it. Contact or call 1-877-977-6843