May Center School for Autism and Developmental Disabilities

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Allied Health.

We are committed to facilitating an environment for each child to strive and improve in his or her speech and language, occupational, and physical needs on a day-to-day basis.

Our Allied Health team includes the following licensed professionals on a consultative model: a Speech Language Pathologist, Occupational Therapist, and Physical Therapist. The team works collaboratively by providing consultative services, evaluations, recommendations, and support to members of a student’s team, especially educators and family members.  

Speech and Language

The Speech Language Pathologist and the Speech assistant consult with each student’s educational team to increase receptive, expressive, and pragmatic language skills. Our main goal is to increase each student’s ability to become a more effective and functional communicator in every possible environment.

Our students use various modes of communication, and the modality is based upon each child’s expressive and receptive language abilities. Students who are verbal may rely on visual supports to help increase their speech and language abilities and social communication skills. Students who are non-verbal are encouraged to increase their communication skills by using other means of communication.

We use a variety of visual communication systems and devices, ranging from low- to high-tech. Low-tech methods include signs, single-picture symbol icons, or real photographs and visual communication books. High-tech communication includes speech-generating devices. Many students use iPads, NovaChats, DynaVox, and switches.

Every teacher is trained on each communication modality within the natural setting of the classroom. We consult with teachers regularly to ensure that the most effective strategy, materials, and presentation of goals and programs are being implemented throughout the day. The consultative model allows our speech department to make immediate changes for each student based on continuous improvements. 

Occupational Therapy

Our Occupational Therapist consults with the educational team to address difficulties in the following areas: fine and gross motor skills, visual perception, motor planning, executive functioning, self-care activities, and sensory integration. We evaluate the skills and abilities of the student within the natural context of his/her everyday activities.  We then develop programs and implement strategies to enhance skills and promote the generalization of these skills to vocational and community-based settings.

Our main goal is to promote skill acquisition and assist in functional independence in all areas of daily living. Occupational therapy services are provided on a consultative model throughout functional programs within each student’s routine as well as through small group instruction. Yoga, cooking, sensory, and fine motor groups are run on a weekly basis to promote and carry over each student’s individualized goals. Group topics are classroom specific and meant to target the needs of individual students within the group based on related goals and short-term objectives. Teachers and other members of the educational team consult with the occupational therapist to provide the most functional and appropriate goals to facilitate development and generalization across all environments.

Physical Therapy

We assess a student’s ability to maneuver throughout his or her daily environment at school. This includes walking, running, climbing stairs, the ability to get in and out of transportation, and climbing on the playground.

Our goal is to increase a student’s ability to travel throughout the school and increase his or her strength and range of motion to implement functional activities for day-to-day living. To accomplish this goal, we create opportunities to improve and progress through activities such as walking on a treadmill, playing sports, riding bicycles, and participating in obstacle courses. The physical therapist consults with the educational team to promote functional physical activities throughout all environments.