Pediatric Therapeutic Services

How PTS Delivers Special Education and Related Services Success

A Case Study in Data-Driven, Cost-Effective, Empowering Special Ed

When a student is in crisis, there’s no time to waste.

Emotions run high, but only swift action and extreme clinical competence will achieve the best outcome. A trusted team’s efficient and effective collaboration is critical in designing a treatment plan and carrying it out with the highest fidelity. 

Navigating such sensitive cases is no easy feat for most school districts’ special education and related services programs.

But at Pediatric Therapeutic Services (PTS), we’ve been helping districts meet exactly this challenge for more than 20 years.

Our skilled clinicians, high-quality diagnostic and consultative support, empirically validated interventions and tools, data-driven decisions, and teacher empowerment have resulted in effective on-site treatments in school districts throughout the Greater Delaware Valley.

Here’s just one example of how we helped one district give a student in crisis a new start.

The District’s Challenge: Dealing with a Student’s Escalating School Refusal

One of our client districts contacted us to help them handle a challenging case of school refusal.

The student was coming to school, but had been refusing to take part in any undesired activities for more than three months.

The district’s team had already worked with several paraprofessionals from outside agencies. High turnover was a real problem. These unskilled personnel’s inconsistent interventions were having a detrimental effect.

For many hours a day, the student was verbally and physically aggressive. He frequently disrupted and left the classroom—severely impeding his own learning, as well as his classmates’—and often left school altogether. His problematic behaviors were hitting an all-time high. 

Teachers and support staff pushed all academics aside as they grasped at any strategy they could find to try and help the student. Even so, after several months of effort with no notable decrease in his refusal behavior, the district was certain he’d be unable to remain in its schools.

Administrators were gearing up for an extremely costly plan B: outplacement.

But given their past success with special education and related services from PTS, they called us in a “last-ditch attempt” to salvage the student’s in-district educational program.

PTS’ Solution: Implementing A Systematic Plan for Lasting Behavior Change

Within 24 hours of receiving the district’s call, PTS’ Director of Behavioral Health started on-site consultation. Ultimately, the team determined more targeted assessments would help it craft a systematic intervention plan.

Female school-based psychologist sits in front of middle school girl on round cushion with eyes closed and hands over ears.The team completed a formal functional behavior assessment, which yielded a function-based behavior plan targeting behaviors for deceleration and acceleration.

As part of this plan, a highly trained Registered Behavior Technician (RBT®)—one with a comprehensive background in applied behavior analysis, and practicing under supervision from a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA®)—started working with the student one-on-one, implementing the treatment plan with the highest level of integrity. 

The behavior technician also consistently modeled the outlined interventions for the student’s family, teachers, and other support staff. This modeling ensured key players had necessary skills—fading, skill generalization, and so on—for carrying out an effective titration plan from day one.

Each team member clearly understood the overall treatment goals and his or her individual level of long-term accountability. They collected data with high fidelity, enabling clear, concise analysis and informed decisions about various strategies’ effectiveness. 

The BCBA fine-tuned the student’s program. The RBT’s daily, on-site presence gave her ample opportunity to model appropriate implementation for classroom staff.

At a rapid rate, the student began responding positively. His refusal behavior fell by 94% in the first month of treatment.

Now, he fully participates in all general and special education curriculum in his home district. Our RBT continues to fade her presence gradually. Our BCBA keeps monitoring for maintenance and supports the team as a consultant when needed.

This student had been getting only inconsistent, uninformed intervention. Now, thanks to the systematic and effective treatment plan PTS’ behavior team designed and put in place, he has a solid foundation for lasting behavior change.

Use PTS’ Resources, Data, and Expertise to Strengthen Your Related Services Program

Keeping this student in-district and giving him the interventions he needed in order to learn is only one of many case studies in special education success we can share.

Time and again, PTS’ approach to special education and related services leads to more positive outcomes for students with less stress and spending for school districts:

  • Our commitment to equipping teachers with the knowledge they need to help students makes them confident team members. They learn how to help more students with disabilities and disorders in the classroom, resulting in fewer referrals, fewer ineffective interventions, and fewer costly outplacements. 
  • Our extensive collection of detailed teacher and therapist resources—all vetted by experienced clinicians, and many developed by PTS’ practitioners—means districts don’t spend extra time and money solving problems. School staff have the tools they need at their fingertips.
  • Our award-winning, proprietary BudgetWatch™ technology empowers districts to manage related services more efficiently. It analyzes and summarizes key data on such critical aspects of therapy programs as caseloads, efficiency, referrals, therapy costs, and overall program effectiveness.

Find out more about how we can strengthen your district’s program so you realize better results for your students. Contact PTS today at 610-941-7020 or through our convenient online form.

Start right now by requesting a free related services audit. We’ll identify immediate ways to reduce your program’s expenditures without sacrificing your students’ progress. Claim your free audit today!

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