Pediatric Therapeutic Services

Our School-Based Therapy Resources Are Your Keys to Success

Move to School-Based Practice Smoothly with Our New Therapist Workshop

Female SLP shows male elementary student the letter “A” on a clipboard during school-based speech therapy session.

Being a therapist is one thing, but to perform successfully in school-based therapy jobs, you’ll need school-based therapy resources!

You might be a speech-language pathologist (SLP) who’s a pro at choosing augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems for adults who need help expressing themselves to family members. But do you have expertise with the AAC devices especially suited for students who need to use them to clarify homework instructions from teachers?

You might be an occupational therapist (OT) who does first-rate work helping senior citizens learn to feed and dress themselves in a skilled nursing facility. But have you ever had to work with an academically struggling third-grader whose handwriting teachers consistently describe as “sloppy?”

Or you might be a physical therapist (PT) with a successful track record helping grown athletes get back on their feet after injuries on the field. But would you know what to do to help a student with autism sit correctly at a classroom desk?

As a leading provider of related services for students with disabilities and disorders in the Delaware Valley for more than 20 years, Pediatric Therapeutic Services (PTS) knows the unique challenges and opportunities therapists face in schools. 

In other settings, therapists can deliver services based on a doctor’s diagnosis, or based on what they believe will improve the client’s overall quality of life. But in schools, all related services must be necessary for the student’s access to her or his education.

“Helping students reach their full potential” is a worthy goal, but it doesn’t meet the standard school districts must meet in order to spend their finite (and increasingly limited) special education dollars.

If you want to become a school-based therapist, making this mindset shift is only one of many ways you may have to rethink your practice.

And PTS is rethinking how we’ll help you do it by introducing our new School Based Academy Workshop.

The Old School Based Academy

To help clinicians get their careers in schools off to a stronger start, PTS established the School Based Academy (SBA) in 2017.

It was a semi-monthly series of seminars that ran from August through November, covering all kinds of information and practical skills new school-based therapists need to practice effectively and efficiently.

While SBA made many of our therapists’ transition to the schools a lot smoother and more productive, we understood not every new clinician could set aside eight Thursday evenings during those critical first few months of the academic year. We also realized not every practitioner needed every kind of school-based therapy resource

So we’re slimming down and streamlining SBA to better serve you.

The New SBA Workshop

PTS’ new School Based Academy Workshop is a one-day, four-session workshop that will still deliver everything you need to jump-start your successful school-based therapy career.

Here’s your preview of what we’ll cover:

  • Female school-based speech therapist uses picture cards to help elementary school student practice pronouncing target sounds.Session 1: Getting Started—Where to Begin!
    How do you build mutually beneficial relationships with teachers, staff, and parents? What are the best ways to manage your caseload and design an efficient schedule? What should you do if the principal gives you a custodial closet as your “therapy room?” We’ll show you strategies you can use from day one to set yourself up for success!
  • Session 2: The IEP—The Nuts and Bolts of It All
    A student’s Individualized Educational Program (IEP) is the oxygen of special education—or it should and can be, when the goals in it are well-written, relevant, and realistic targets. We’ll reveal the keys to writing IEP goals that are not only legally defensible but also squarely focused on what’s best for the student.
  • Session 3: Documentation & Progress Monitoring
    What are the best practices for collecting and reporting observational data? How can you implement them in your daily work? We’ll explain how you can be a strong advocate for both your students and the interventions you design by adhering to the principles of evidence-based practice.
  • Session 4: Pre-Referral Interventions
    At PTS, we fight “caseload creep”—the addition of more and more students to therapists’ crowded schedules. We’ll introduce you to techniques for keeping new referrals to a minimum so you’re free to maximize your time and energy spent with students who need your services the most.

In addition, the SBA Workshop manual will be organized by therapeutic discipline, with separate sections addressing SLPs, OTs, and PTs. You can turn right to the section about your field in order to get the school-based therapy resources you need more quickly.

PTS Can Help You Succeed in Your School-Based Therapy Career

Our School Based Academy is changing, but our commitment to brand-new school-based therapists is not!

With PTS’ help, you will be able to…

  • Get ideas for articulation and AAC devices for students with communication disorders.
  • Train that third-grader to write legibly, if you’re in a school-based occupational therapy job.
  • Help the student with autism sit at a desk the right way, if you’re in a school-based physical therapy job.

No matter your clinical discipline, PTS will give you the tools and support you need to serve more students more effectively. And the SBA Workshop  is only the beginning.

Ready to find out more? Then check out our currently open positions and let’s get you placed in a school where your students and your career can grow together!

School-Based Therapy Resources and Supports for Your Success

School-Based Therapy Resources and Supports for Your Success

Ready Resources and Support for School-Based Practitioners

When you practice therapy in medical settings, you deliver curative and rehabilitative interventions to help clients maximize function in multiple areas.

But when you work in schools, you’re focused on helping students with disabilities and disorders access education. And often you’re doing it while wrestling with highly structured class schedules, a lack of dedicated space and supplies, educators who don’t understand what you do, and more. If you’re an Independent Contractor (IC), you face extra challenges, from managing your own hours to getting insurance.

Supports and resources specific to school-based therapy are essential for your success. Without them, you risk feelings of frustration and failure that reduce your effectiveness and leave you burned out.

At Pediatric Therapeutic Services (PTS), our commitment to providing students the best-related services possible means we’re committed to helping independent school-based therapists become the best clinicians they can be.

Supporting school-based therapists is at the core of our Therapist Achievement Approach. We find the best independent clinicians we can, then do all we can, at every stage—from hiring, to year-to-year transitions, to career advancement—to help them become even better.

Here are some ways we make sure when you work with us, you’re never on your own:

Your Clinical Director

At PTS, you work with expert Clinical Directors from the start. They’ll interview you with an eye to your professional goals (not just a district’s needs). They’ll match you to a position in which you can use your unique strengths fully. And they’ll closely supervise and nurture you on the job so you grow even stronger.

Each of our Clinical Directors has been in your shoes. Combined, they have more than 115 years of experience providing therapy in a school setting. They’ve also all been ICs, and can offer first-hand wisdom on handling yourself as a business.

Supervising and supporting you on-site and never more than a phone call away, your Clinical Director is your professional mentor and dedicated advocate.

 

The School-Based Academy (SBA)

The SBA is our comprehensive, year-long program for new school therapists. We familiarize them with issues unique to educational settings, including:

In addition to providing a binder full of must-have information, we we host regular Saturday “boot camps sessions for participants and send email updates full of even more resources and tips. The SBA helps new school-based therapists do their work with more confidence and professionalism.

 

Testing Material Lending Library

All ICs know the pain of paying out of pocket for testing materials. While writing off these costs as business expenses at tax time is a plus, wouldn’t it be nicer not to have to pay in the first place?

PTS maintains an up-to-date lending library of evaluations, assessments, test forms, and other school-based therapy resources for our clinicians’ use. Simply fill out a request form online, and we’ll ship what you need directly to you. Think of the time and money you’ll save not hunting down and buying multiple materials!

 

Additional Online Resources

The PTS website offers several practical tools you can use to work more efficiently and effectively, such as:

  • school based therapy resourcesOur sample Parent Introduction Letter is a convenient, customizable template for getting your relationship with parents or guardians off to a good start (a crucial step in securing family support for your interventions).
  • Our Classroom Data Collection Forms are ideal school-based occupational therapy and physical therapy resources, designed to help Child Study Teams make the critical observations they must to make recommendations for furthering students’ progress.
  • Our Therapist Schedule Forms help you get a handle on one of school-based therapy’s biggest challenges: time management. By dividing your day into half-hour blocks, you can more accurately and easily track direct time spent covering IEPs and indirect time spent on other tasks—a must if you want to be paid properly for your hours.

PTS’ blog, email newsletters, and Facebook and Pinterest pages are also ways we use technology to keep you in the know about resources worth checking out and using and keep you up-to-date on issues affecting you as an IC.

And if you have an idea for a resource you think would help other clinicians, let us know. We’re always eager to expand our bank of therapist-designed and -tested resources. One of our most popular speech and language therapy resources for schools, the “Artic Blast” board game, began in just this way.

 

Convenient, Data-Collecting Online Invoicing

As an IC, you need a reliable, easy-to-use system for submitting your invoices. Without one, your cash flow becomes unpredictable and you risk not having the revenue you’ve earned when you need it.

PTS builds your invoicing into our proprietary, award-winning BudgetWatch™ software. Because you’re always able to access it through your online portal to report your billable hours, you won’t have to worry about invoices being overlooked.

What’s more, since you submit data you’ve collected with your invoice, that information is always accessible if you need it again. Need to figure out why referrals at your site are skyrocketing? Just ask to see the data, and we’ll have it for you quickly, all because of how we handle IC invoicing.

 

Independent Contractor Insurance Assistance

For all the freedom and flexibility being an IC brings, we know it’s not without its stressors. Finding insurance is often one of them.

That’s why PTS has established a strategic alliance with an otherwise unaffiliated, independent insurance broker who’s qualified to listen to your priorities, understand your needs, and do the legwork to present you with only the options that are a best fit for your budget and your lifestyle.

 

Grow as a Resource for School-Based Therapy Yourself with PTS!

At PTS, we not only equip you with as many school-based therapy resources as possible but also encourage you to see yourself as a potential resource for others.

As a member of our network of nearly 300 independent contractor therapists, you bring skills and strengths making you an incredible asset to us all as we seek to do more good for more students.

To further explore how PTS supports your success as an independent school-based therapist, call us at 610-941-7020, or contact us online.

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