The physical therapy department within the internal ACES programs provides services to the Center for Autism Spectrum and Developmental Disorders, Mill Elementary School, Village School,Whitney High East, Whitney High West, and Whitney High North. There are currently 6 full time therapists. The therapists work closely with families, classroom staff and other team members to promote the highest level of function possible for each student while he/she pursues his/her educational goals. These goals are determined by the student’s individualized educational program (IEP) through the PPT process. Physical Therapy is provided through the prescription of the student’s physician.
The Focus of Physical Therapy Services include:
Assisting students in acquiring the functional abilities needed to utilize educational materials and participate in classroom activities and educational routines.
Incorporating strategies to maximize each student’s physical capabilities within the classroom by working with classroom personnel.
Providing ongoing evaluation and adaptation of student equipment to improve the student’s functional skills in the classroom, restroom, lunchroom or work area.
Assisting students to develop and use safe mobility techniques within the educational environment including activities outside the classroom; i.e. playground, community experiences.
Therapy is best given in small groups so that classroom staff can participate and learn how to integrate therapeutic activities throughout the day. This model also provides peer role models and provides motivation for many students.
The therapy staff is an integral part of the school day, assisting with transportation, feeding and activities of daily living.
We have developed our Aqua Therapy Program to provide an alternate mode of therapy for relaxation, pain relief and assisted exercise.
The physical therapy staff are available to work closely with ACES assistive technology staff in providing customized equipment to improve functional abilities.
Body mechanics in-services are provided to program staff. These in-services are specific to the needs of their student populations.
Professional growth is addressed through ongoing meetings, workshops concerning current treatment approaches, and through serving as a clinical education site for physical therapy students from area universities.