Pediatric Therapeutic Services

Post-Pandemic Services Part 2: The New Tools School Administrators Can Use to Respond to Increasing Behavioral Health Needs

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, school closures led to increasing behavioral and mental health challenges for educators and school administrators in post-pandemic learning environments.

Pediatric Therapeutic Services (PTS) has systems that address these new behavioral and mental health needs without putting added responsibilities on the shoulders of teachers and therapists. As you’ll see here, we work with partnering schools to implement services and classroom-level supports that help more students while containing costs.

Contact us to find out how we can help your school address new or increased behavioral health challenges in students.

Rising Requests for Behavioral and Mental Health Services

Behavioral Health NeedsUsing data from our BudgetWatch™ software, we found that factors like disrupted routines and social isolation led to regression of executive function and social skills in students. As a result of these adverse circumstances, we have seen a concerning uptick in the following behaviors in both secondary and elementary schools:

  • Anxiety
  • Truancy
  • Self-injury
  • Substance abuse
  • School avoidance

These behaviors will need to be addressed at the classroom level so that more students can benefit from therapeutic services without overwhelming the therapy caseload.

How to Support Your Students’ Behavioral Health Using an Integrated Approach to Related Services

At PTS, we take a “Whole Child” approach that includes behavioral and mental health services. In this post-pandemic reality, we must integrate academic, emotional, and social wellness because students cannot recuperate academic skills if they are struggling with emotional challenges.

A silver lining of the pandemic is that virtual meetings presented new opportunities for staff and families to collaborate. Continuing these practices can create more consistency between schools and homes to improve the overall wellbeing of students. PTS helps schools and administrators take a “Whole Child” approach by:

1) Empowering Teachers to Offer Supports at the Classroom Level

As students continue re-adjusting to in-person learning, we need to be aware that pandemic-related traumas and stressors impact how well students can access other supports and services.

By training teachers on Trauma-Informed Care—including how to identify different types of trauma—PTS empowers them to address common needs. When teachers can identify the different ways trauma manifests, they can better support students in the classroom and request the appropriate related services.

2) Setting Up Safe, Collaborative Learning Environments

Behavioral Health ResourcesBy creating calm environments, teachers and paraprofessionals can help students regulate their nervous systems. Through our free trainings, we help teachers promote positive interactions, positive reinforcement, fun activities, and experiences of success that make children feel safe.

Another way PTS supports teachers is by training them to implement classroom-wide, kinesthetic-based interventions that encourage student engagement and combat sensory deprivation.

3) Creating Integrated Systems of Support

Post-pandemic, more students are dealing with multiple challenges simultaneously. For example, a child may be struggling with anxiety, depression, and a pragmatic language disorder. Our Integrated Systems of Support incorporate behavioral theory, Trauma Informed Care, and Social Emotional Learning, so students can benefit from all available supports.

By combining Integrated Systems of Support with an MTSS approach to related services, PTS can help you connect each student with the right levels of support, including classroom, small group, and individual. Our Clinical Directors handle the day-to-day program management, so overextended administrators won’t have any more on their plates.

4) Tending to Social-Emotional Learning Needs

By proactively tending to students’ social-emotional needs, districts can reduce the number of students requiring services in the long-term. That means these services aren’t only what’s best for the students—they’re also a wise economical investment.

PTS trains teachers to facilitate large-group activities that build community and relationships. These classroom-wide interventions promote collaborative learning, which builds trust between teachers and students, as well as among peers. By slowing down on curricular demands, this type of social-emotional learning can happen organically.

Put Your Students First with PTS

At PTS, our “Whole Child” approach and integrated services transform classrooms into inclusive therapeutic environments that address the increasingly complex needs of students at the general education level. Even better, it allows students to learn in the least restrictive environment, while also containing costs and ensuring that only the right students get on the therapy caseload.

Check out our free webinar and contact us today to learn more about how PTS will be by your side every step of the way!

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