A Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) approach isn’t anything new to educators. When we apply this framework to related services, however, we support more students in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE), prevent overidentification and disproportionality, and reduce unnecessary referrals.
Pediatric Therapeutic Services (PTS) implements this tiered approach to help therapists at our partnering districts keep caseloads more manageable, even as student needs continue to grow.
Tiered Interventions Reduce Unnecessary Referrals
Students belong in the classroom and using an MTSS approach helps to keep them there, so they can continue to learn in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE). By offering tiered supports at the general education level, we ensure that only the kids who truly need related services receive a referral.
The Capable Classroom™
Throughout our many global initiatives, we’ve discovered how effective empowering teachers, paraprofessionals, and aides to provide therapy without the therapist at the general education classroom level can be.
That’s why PTS developed Capable Classroom™ as a new standard of best practices for incorporating inclusion throughout the classroom. The programs under its umbrella promote learning through play, allowing therapy techniques to carry over into the classroom in a fun and organic way.
The Capable Classroom™ includes:
This low-cost supplemental handwriting instruction program is designed for students in kindergarten through second grade. Our data shows schools that routinely implement Pencil Power™ in their classrooms have reduced handwriting-related Occupational Therapy (OT) evaluations by at least two-thirds.
Both the program and supplemental board game allow students to practice key pre-writing and writing skills without an OT. By keeping handwriting instruction in the regular education classroom, whenever possible, therapy caseloads remain more manageable.
This is a fast-paced game designed for pre-referral interventions and classroom carryover at the elementary level. Students race to the top and climb higher by pronouncing words correctly, with the help of cues and hints on cards.
Students practice self-regulation and reinforce social skills in this 6-week program that’s designed for third graders and up. It encourages students to build sensory awareness and equips them to create their own personalized programs for when they need them most.
This 6-week program provides students with early exposure to skills they will use throughout their school years. Likewise, it encourages therapist-teacher collaboration and helps students grow in several main areas:
- Core muscle strength and stability
- Bilateral coordination
- Grasping and dexterity
- Visual motor integration and visual perception
All Capable Classroom™ activities have been created and developed by PTS therapists and Clinical Directors. They come with simple instructions that teachers, parent volunteers, and teacher aides can follow, so anyone can run them—not just therapists.
No-Cost On-Demand In-Service Trainings for Partnering Districts
With no-cost, on-demand in-service trainings for teachers, aides, and other school employees who interact with students on a daily basis, the burden doesn’t fall on the therapist to carry out these pre-referral interventions. The entire school ecosystem can mobilize to help.
PTS Provides Ongoing Support for Therapists
Therapists at PTS have a high level of freedom and independence in their roles. However, when you join our team as a school-based therapist, you’ll always have access to guidance when you need it.
PTS’s Clinical Directors work with our therapy teams directly to improve both the student and therapist experience. Therapists aren’t left to “go it alone.” Instead, they have ongoing communication with someone who understands their profession and can facilitate programmatic success.
Our Clinical Directors are highly trained and talented therapy leaders who become experts on a specific school district’s student population and needs. They help therapists keep up to date with the latest treatment techniques and any legal changes. Along with that, our Clinical Directors work with school administrators to find solutions before small problems become big ones.
Read our interview with Jennifer Cancro to learn more about all the time and effort our Clinical Directors put into our therapists.
Learn More About Supporting Students With Us
PTS therapists receive the support they need from our Clinical Directors and MTSS approach. That’s why nearly half of our incoming therapists have been referred to us from other therapists!
Contact PTS to learn more about supporting students with us today!