For children and adolescents, school takes up a large portion of their day. Their major role in life involves learning new information and developing/refining fine motor and gross motor skills. In addition to the academics and skill development, children and adolescents are also developing vital social skills and forming their own self-image. The school environment and all that happens there has a big impact on who they eventually become as adults.
At TherapyPlus, teachers in our Therapeutic Learning Center are an important part of the interdisciplinary team that prepares patients to return to their school and achieve academic success. Whether the patient is returning to an elementary school classroom or their college campus, our teachers help offer guidance for re-integrating successfully.
The Adolescent & Children's Rehabilitation Program team works with each child/adolescent to enhance their participation in age appropriate academic pursuits by utilizing the TLC at Madonna. The program is lead by an educational specialist who is a certified teacher with additional rehabilitation training and experience. The child/adolescent is exposed to real-life challenges within the classroom and works with his or her therapy team to overcome any limitations that would prevent them from returning to their community school system.
Students work in small groups on age/grade appropriate activities and receive individualized assistance and instruction from the educational specialist, teacher's aide or therapist. In addition to the work on academics, each child/adolescent is provided with opportunities to develop age-appropriate social skills and communication strategies, explore new ways of navigating the classroom, or to just have fun with peers.
Young adults who are in college and need academic structuring may also participate in the TLC program. In these cases, the educational specialist works with the university department of students with special needs and the therapists work with patients on completion of school assessments on campus to simulate real-life re-entry.
The educational specialist contacts each patient's community school to gain records and begin to establish a relationship with them. This might involve a trip to the school to assess and/or practice mobility skills, a joint meeting with therapists, teacher(s), and parents to discuss strategies, or development of an Individualized Educational Program (IEP) jointly with the school personnel. The educational specialist follows up with school personnel after the patient re-integrates into their community school to ensure things are going well.