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Dear IEJEE Reader,
This special issue of International Electronic Journal of Elementary Education (IEJEE) presents information and examples of practices that are from the intersection of School Psychology, School Counseling, Educational Psychology, and Special Education. As we move forward in understanding how interdisciplinary/team approaches can benefit our students, we have also begun to realize that much more work is needed in this area to help reduce barriers that impede collegiality between professionals in these fields. Our students with special needs today present us with ever changing challenges, and new cross-sectional tools, ideas, and strategies that include the best from these disciplines are absolutely pivotal to addressing these needs. Developing professional competencies for working with children with exceptional (special) needs must be a pressing goal for educational systems around the globe. We must also work to update the idea of what constitutes a child with ‘special needs’ and perhaps reframe this term to ‘children with exceptionalities’. This lens reminds us that children come to us with a very broad array of gifts, talents, and needs – therefore exceptionalities might be a better ‘umbrella’ or inclusive term from which to springboard new efforts in multidisciplinary research and development. The collection of articles in this special edition address the aforementioned issues as well as the need for more in-service training that addresses our students’ increased mental health requirements and the robust evidence-based practices that should be embedded within our school systems. Additionally, another contribution to this journal reminds us of the importance of focusing on our students’ strengths when conducting psychological counseling and assessment.