The Gramon Family of Schools is proud to offer a variety of related services that emphasize a team approach to support all students and staff. Working collaboratively, the related service providers and classroom staff communicate regularly to maximize student progress across all disciplines. In the younger classrooms, therapists and classroom staff work together to offer integrated services with therapists frequently pushing into classrooms to provide sessions in the natural environment. During the transition years, therapy is provided in an infusion model, which includes therapists attending Community Based Instruction (CBI) experiences with each high school classroom. Each discipline is an integral component of the overall experience at The Gramon Family of Schools, creating a comprehensive therapeutic atmosphere for students to thrive. Students may receive related services in the following areas:
- Occupational therapy.
- Physical therapy
- Speech and language therapy
The Gramon Family of Schools counseling department consists of social workers, guidance counselor, and art therapists. Counseling services are available to enhance positive behavior and/or social skills to contribute to students’ social and emotional development. The counselors may provide individual, group, cotreatment, or classroom-based services as per the specific needs of each student. They are available to aid parents in accessing outside services, such as recreational activities, specialists, and the Department of Developmental Disabilities (DDD).
The social workers provide support to parents of preschool students to help them navigate through their first school experience. They are also available to communicate with home therapists and private agencies to advocate for the students’ needs. The guidance counselor provides resources for students and families throughout the transition years, and guides families through the process of securing services upon graduation. The art therapists engage students in a variety of art-based therapeutic activities to support them in developing social skills and addressing emotional needs.
Occupational therapy at The Gramon Family of Schools incorporates a variety of intervention strategies into students’ therapy sessions, with the goal of ensuring that each child is provided with an individualized program that includes the involvement of all other therapeutic disciplines. Our team approach allows for an optimal learning environment for each child. The OT department works closely with the transition team to provide vocational support for students in their work experiences, both on-site and in the community.
Students participate in individual, group, cotreatment, or infused OT sessions, as outlined by each student’s IEP. Therapy sessions typically focus on improving sensory processing/modulation skills through the use of various sensory integrative techniques. Students also engage in various handwriting programs, visual perceptual/motor, self-care, vocational, and fine motor activities. The use of adaptive equipment and assistive devices are also utilized as needed. Occupational therapy provides each student with learning experiences that generalize to other life skills.
Physical therapy at The Gramon Family of Schools addresses gross motor skills with consideration of the implications they have for the students’ functioning in the school setting. To determine goals and objectives, the PT assesses a student’s postural stability, body awareness, and his or her ability to safely navigate the school environment. In addition, physical therapy addresses a student’s gross motor needs to promote more age-appropriate reciprocal play skills to encourage greater peer interaction. These areas may include balance, coordination, motor planning, and ball skills.
The Gramon Family of Schools physical therapists work with the adaptive physical education teachers to apply skills addressed in the physical education curriculum. Additionally, the PTs work with the classroom staff to address skills related to safe navigation of the community environment. Students may receive PT in individual, small group, cotreatment, or infused sessions depending on their specific needs.
The Reading Specialist assists students who are having difficulties in mastering reading skills by using a variety of techniques within a balanced literacy program. The Reading Specialist, along with the classroom teacher, develops a plan for each student, introducing and teaching specific skills that are reinforced in the classroom setting. Students who receive reading services are seen individually, in small groups, or a combination of both approaches. The Reading Specialist also works with several classrooms during Readers Workshop, modeling various reading strategies and lessons within the whole classroom setting.
Our reading program provides a multi-sensory approach that incorporates various reading strategies to increase decoding, fluency, encoding, and listening/reading comprehension. Some of these programs would include, but not be limited to, Orton-Gillingham (phonics), Edmark and Environmental Print (for reading signs, menus, shopping lists, etc), and Fountas & Pinnell reading series (sight word recognition). Several virtual websites, including Vizzle, Epic Books, Boom Cards, Flyleaf Publishing, and Reading A-Z, are used in conjunction with the above programs to reinforce necessary skills.
Speech and Language Therapy
The speech department at the Gramon Family of Schools is comprehensive and student specific. Speech Language Specialists work collaboratively with the classroom staff and other related service providers to facilitate speech and language development throughout the day. The Speech Language Specialists utilize a total communication approach when addressing student communication needs and focus on generalization of language skills by addressing skills in the natural environment. Goals are addressed in the areas of receptive, expressive, social language development, and functional life skills. Students may receive speech services in individual, group, cotreatment, or infusion sessions as determined by the IEP.
Many students at GFS benefit from the support of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC). GFS incorporates a variety of AAC, such as the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), communication boards/books, and voice output communication systems (e.g., iPads with various communication apps including Proloquo2Go, TouchChat, LAMP Words for Life). On-going trainings are provided to staff and parents regarding AAC implementation and coaching techniques to maximize generalization into the classroom and home environments. Our Speech Language Specialists also collaborate closely with classroom staff to create and use visual aids throughout the school day, such as choice boards, picture schedules, social stories, and task sequences.