Due to the challenges created by COVID-19 school closures, student needs are higher than ever, as are therapist caseloads. In turn, this is leading to an increase in special education costs, as well as overworked therapists.
It’s clear: You need to multiply the impact of your related services program so that you can respond to increasingly complex student needs while also working within the limits of time and budgetary constraints.
Pediatric Therapeutic Services (PTS) is here to implement our integrated therapy model to improve your program’s overall efficiency. Contact us to find out how!
Real-World Results: Increasing Efficiency to 100% in a Bucks County PA School District
One of our partnering school districts in the Bucks County, PA, area noticed an increase in speech-language pathology (SLP) needs among their students. They also needed to address this without increasing costs or sacrificing the quality of services.
As their partner, a PTS Clinical Director provided support at no additional cost to the district. We worked with the administration to clarify processes, tighten schedules, and serve students in groups or push-in sessions. Using our proprietary BudgetWatch™ software, we were able to use data to identify opportunities to improve workflow as well as areas in need of additional teacher training.
The results? Overall efficiency increased to at least 100% and cost increases stayed below 1%.*
Our Integrated Therapy Model Multiplies the Impact of Your Related Services Program
How did we increase program efficiency at our partnering district without a spike in costs? We did it by working closely with the district to implement our integrated therapy model. We’ve spent the last two decades honing our integrated therapy model so we can support more students in fewer hours, allowing your program to operate at maximum efficiency.
PTS’s Model vs Traditional Models
When we look at the data on our integrated approach compared to a traditional approach, it’s clear that traditional models serve fewer students while taking more time:
PTS’s Integrated Approach
Number of students seen 1-on-1
Number of students seen in small groups
Number of students seen in a whole-class learning support session
Total number of students served
Total service hours covered
Total service hours billed
While traditional models rely on time-consuming one-on-one pull-out sessions, our innovative integrated approach emphasizes whole-class push-in sessions. This exposes more students to therapeutic interventions at the classroom level and allows them to receive supports in the least restrictive environment.
For students on the therapy caseload, we emphasize group pull-out sessions so that our therapists can support more students in fewer hours. By doing this, we reserve one-on-one pull-out sessions for the students with the most intensive needs.
Overall, our integrated therapy model allows us to provide 19.5 service hours, while only billing for three. The same number of students would require 8.5 service hours billed with traditional models that rely heavily on one-on-one pull-out sessions.
Our Capable Classroom™ and In-Service Teacher Trainings Empower Teachers to Think like Therapists
Our integrated therapy model is based on an MTSS approach that incorporates the use of therapeutic interventions at the classroom level. We empower teachers to think like therapists and incorporate therapeutic techniques as part of the classroom routine. One of the ways we do this is by providing no-cost teacher trainings to our partnering districts.
We’ve seen this work in a real-world setting when we visited the Beautiful Gates Special School in Mysore, India. Due to a widespread need for occupational therapy within their school, we taught teachers how to utilize hand-strengthening activities into the classroom content. When we did, students began to quickly improve their handwriting abilities without ever meeting one-on-one with an occupational therapist.
This is a practice that we’ve continued to encourage with our partnering districts locally to help them multiply the impact of their related services program and improve efficiency. We also provide teachers and classroom staff with therapist-created resources as part of our Capable Classroom™. Our Capable Classroom™ includes tools like:
- Pencil Power™ 6- or 12-week instructional handwriting program
- Super Self™ small-group self-regulation program
- Arctic Blast™ board game to improve articulation
Giving teachers the tools to introduce interventions at the general education level multiplies the impact of your related services program by supporting more students without placing them on caseload.
Improve Efficiency within Your Related Services Program with PTS
With our integrated, whole-child approach to related services, PTS can help you maximize the power of your program so that you’re supporting more students, more efficiently. Contact us to find out how we can help you improve your related services team to meet the growing needs of your student population today!
*PTS measures efficiency as the total IEP time covered + diagnostic time/hours billed so the benefit of group sessions is captured.