School Psychologists help children and youth succeed academically, socially, and emotionally. They are uniquely qualified members of school teams that support students' ability to learn and teachers' ability to teach. School psychologists apply expertise in assessment, metnal health, learning, and behavior. They partner with families, teachers, school administrators and other professionals to help create safe, healthy, and supportive learning environments.
Services within schools include providing direct support and interventions to students, consultation with families and coordination among other profesionals such as mental health teams, school counselors, and community agencies. School psychologists often provide training to teachers regarding various learning and behavior topics (e.g., ADHD, the referral process, behavior management, etc.) They are a vital member of the multidisciplinary team that conducts evaluations and asists with eligibility determination for special education and related services.
They help schools:
--Improve academic achievement
--Promote positive behavior and mental health
--Support diverse learners
--Create safe, positive learning environments
--Strengthen family/school partnerships
Speech/Language Pathologists are specialists whose role is to evaluate, diagnose, and provide services for students who have delays in articulation skills, receptive and/or expressive language skills, social language, fluency, and voice disorders. Parents who have concerns in these areas should contact their home school district or the Cooperative for additional information.
Occupatonal Therapy/Physical Therapy
Occupational therapists address fine (small) motor and sensory motor skills in the school environment as they relate to the academic setting. Fine motor skills include pencil grasps, handwriting, scissor skills, and some life skills as they are necessary for the school environment.
Sensory skills can include a child's ability to pay attention in class, helping school staff become aware of too much or too little stimulus in the classroom setting, and helping staff integrate a child's need to move throughout the school day. Occupational therapists also help with positioning of children at desks for optimal learning in the classroom setting.
Physical therapists address gross (big) motor and safety issues involved with getting around a school and playground setting. Physical therapists also work to implement movement into the school day. They are often found in PE classes and help adapt the activities that the class is doing to a level that a child with a disability is able to participate to his/her fullest. Physical therapists work with positioning of regular and special education students in their desks for optimal learning. They may also work with students with more severe disabilities and train staff on positioning for wheelchair-bound kids.
Occupational and Physical therapy services can only be provided to students who are receiving special education services or speech and language services in the school setting. The goal of OT and PT is to work with staff regularly so that modifications that have been made or suggested can be carried out throughout the school week, between visits from the therapists.
Communication Disorder Program
The FSEC Communication Disorder Program is a program for students with severe communication disabilities. These communication disabilities are ones that make it so that the student cannot access their education from the home school district. It is the goal of the program to meet the needs of these students by first teaching them to communciate so they can access their education.
The teacher, paraprofessionals, speech/language pathologist, school psychologist, occupational therapist, physical therapist, and the student's home district will all work as a team to meet the unique needs of the students.