The JCSRS therapy team consists of six therapists – two Speech and Language Therapists, two Occupational Therapists, one Physiotherapist and one part-time Music Therapist. Three Therapy Assistants support the therapists in their roles. Therapists work closely with teaching and support staff to ensure that students are empowered to achieve their full potential. Therapists provide individual, small group and whole-class therapy sessions and consultations to:
Additionally, therapists work in a team with teachers and parents to create appropriate and realistic goals for students that will assist them as they progress through school and beyond. Goals are reviewed on a regular basis through a collaborative and open forum
Communication is fundamental to learning and living. Our Speech and Language therapists work with students to improve their speech, language, social/interaction skills, fluency and eating and drinking management.
Our department has a range of alternative and augmentative communication (AAC) options for children who require additional support to supplement and/or improve their communication abilities. We work closely with teachers and other members of the therapy team to ensure joint planning and goal-setting in a child-centered approach.
We work closely with teaching and other educational staff to provide guidance, training and team-teaching. We see students for therapy in whole-class, small group and individual therapy sessions to work on their communication goals.
The philosophy in our school is one of total communication whereby any and all communication is encouraged and respected. This involves promoting speech, vocalizations, sign language/Makaton, pictures, communication systems and facial expressions to communicate.
School-Based Occupational Therapists are part of the education team and address the student’s strengths and needs within the natural school settings (e.g., classroom, lunchroom, playground) in order to support the educational program. Services may be directed to the student and on behalf of the student in the school environment (e.g., training educational staff). Therapists use meaningful activities (occupations) to promote physical and mental health and well-being.
Occupational therapy service supports academics, behavior, and functional performance. The occupational therapy practitioner collaborates with parents and school staff to create solutions, taking into account the child, the activity, and the setting. The goal is to promote participation through:
The physiotherapy service at JCSRS is provided when a student needs support with the following areas:
• Mobility/negotiating the school (walking patterns, stair management, wheelchair skills etc)
• Transition skills (on/off school bus, keeping pace, sitting to standing)
• Balance (stability in movement)
• Co-ordination (throwing, catching, kicking)
• Gross motor skills (jumping, hopping, PE lessons, sports)
• Posture and positioning (maintaining supported posture in lessons, adaptive equipment such as wheelchairs and standing frames)
The physiotherapy department is well resourced to support students with physical disabilities including a variety of mobility aids, standing frames and suspension equipment for accessing a treadmill. The physiotherapy service also includes access to hydrotherapy in our specially heated pool.
In special education, music therapy aims to help students meet their Individual Educational Plans (IEPs) and at the same time, a general improvement in the student’s quality of life.
How can students benefit from Music Therapy at JCSRS?
The music therapist holds sessions with individual students and classes to help students meet their educational goals by:
There is a wide range of musical instruments suitable for therapy sessions and lessons. In addition, technology devices like iPads and the ‘OptiMusic’ are used to enhance students’ learning and facilitate their expression.
What is Music Therapy?
Music therapy is the professional use of music and its elements as an intervention in medical, educational, and everyday environments with individuals, groups, families, or communities who seek to optimize their quality of life and improve their physical, social, communicative, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual health and wellbeing. Research, practice, education, and clinical training in music therapy is based on professional standards according to cultural, social, and political contexts. (WFMT, 2011).
World Federation of Music Therapy