From the category archives:

Working in Schools

A Mission to Help Nepal

by Howard Gerber on April 29, 2015

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IMG_2459On April 9, 2015, one of our very own Sunbelt colleagues embarked on a trip of a lifetime. Kim Western, Schools Division Director, took on three days of travel to spend time with the people of Nepal and Tibet as part of a medical mission trip. In preparation for her trip, she asked her Sunbelt colleagues to help collect toiletries, educational items, and small gift donations. Together, we collected more than 100 reading glasses, 70 lip balms, 60 pairs of socks, hundreds of toothbrushes and educational items — enough to fill 150 goodie bags for the Tibetan refugees. [continue reading…]

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Get Motivated!

by Christy Trujillo on July 24, 2014

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Five tips for an easy transition from summer vacation to school-year obligations

It’s been one heck of a summer! You’ve read some great books, taken a few classes and had the trip of a lifetime; well, those of you who’ve been following our advice have. Just like all good things, this too must come to an end. As summer winds down and the new school year gears up, you may find yourself less than motivated to get back into the swing of things. Here are five sure-fire ways to get back on track for the new year. [continue reading…]

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Summer Learning!

by Christy Trujillo on July 10, 2014

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ot-slp-conferences-2014In addition to some rest and relaxation this summer, you might want to brush up on your skills or tackle the CEUs you’ll need this year. Conferences are a great way to do this, since many of them fill those requirements and offer a bit of fun and camaraderie at the same time. We’ve listed some events going on this summer and some that you’ll need to register for ASAP, before all the spots are taken. We’ve also found a few webinars and online conferences for those who prefer to stay close to home. [continue reading…]

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It’s Summer! Now what?

by Christy Trujillo on July 3, 2014

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summer-reading-2014Across the nation, students are putting away their books as the summer months settle in. If you’re a school-based healthcare professional, you might be celebrating too as you look forward to some much-needed R&R. Of course, if you’re anything like the driven and talented individuals we have here at Sunbelt Staffing, you’ll be on the hunt for ways to enrich your days and make the most of your time. [continue reading…]

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Tips for Working with Pediatric Patients

by Howard Gerber on October 3, 2013

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Tips for Working with Pediatric PatientsWhether you love kids or have no experience with them, there may come a time where you have to treat pediatric patients. It is important to understand children and teens are not just miniature adults. They have different needs and levels of understanding. In some cases, working with pediatric patients can be a challenge, but it can also be very rewarding. Although all patients are going to be different, consider some general guidelines in order to work effectively with pediatric patients.  [continue reading…]

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Being a Special Needs Advocate for your Students

by Howard Gerber on February 7, 2013

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Being a Special Needs Advocate for your Students

When you walk into classrooms, you can see that the dynamics have drastically changed over the last decade or two. Teachers and other educational professionals are faced with students that often have multiple special needs who were not previously integrated into mainstream classrooms. Whether referring to children who have difficulty talking, keeping up with social skills, kids on the Autism Spectrum, or sensory concerns, the items must be addressed. Each individual child with special needs may be entitled to services to help them function within the educational setting. As individuals working with these children, it is often necessary to become an advocate for them to get the services that will help them to be successful within the classroom.

Special Education Referral Process

If you suspect that a child you work with needs to be evaluated, it is time to do a little research. Not every school, district, or state has the same protocol. Typically you will need to ask the principal of the building what is done. Most of the time the principal, will be in charge of starting the Special Education referral process. Once the process begins, the school psychologist will often be in charge of making sure all of the paper work is given to the families, teachers that work with the child, and the Committee on Special Education (CSE) of the district.

Communication with Families

It is extremely important to have open communication with families that you work with. They should be aware of accomplishments the child is making, along with concerns that you may have. Remember it is never acceptable to suggest that a child may have a certain medical condition. As educators, it is fine to give examples of where the child is struggling. Be sure to take notes, observe, and explain exactly where the child is having trouble. You may want to make a portfolio of work to share with the parents and also use when you have the CSE meeting. Be willing to share how accommodations have been made, along with any attempts to assist the child in that area. In great detail.

Your Role in the CSE Meeting

When all of the testing has been finished and the reports sent to the CSE Chairperson, a group of individuals from the school, along with the family of the child, will meet. If you are going to be present at this meeting, be sure to have details about how the child is doing. Strengths and weaknesses should be given. Be comfortable discussing testing results, along with items you may have in a portfolio of work. As an advocate, it is extremely important to explain exactly what you have seen when working with the child. Do not be afraid to share details that may be hard for the families to hear. Assuming you have told them about this before, you are working together to get the right services to help their child.

Going to a CSE meeting may seem intimidating for educational professionals, but remember you are part of a team. Together you are trying to help that child to qualify for Special Education services and then later draft an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). If they do not qualify for an IEP, then you may also be asked to help draft a 504 Plan that will be utilized within the school.

Have you attended CSE meetings in the past? What were some of the challenges you experienced?

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Therapy Paperwork…

by Howard Gerber on July 19, 2012

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Therapy Paperwork

All forms of therapy require copious amounts of paperwork. Physical therapy is one of the more well-known examples of invasive paperwork, but occupational and speech therapists often have the same insurance restraints and requirements.

Physical therapy requires a recommendation from a patient’s doctor in order for the therapy services to be covered by most insurance policies. In this way, it is very similar to that of a specialist such as a neurologist or an oncologist. However, there is one very big difference between traditional specialists and therapists – whether they are speech, physical, or occupational. The number of therapy services a patient may receive is typically limited annually. Because of this, it is very important that therapists work closely with physicians to make sure the right service is being delivered to the patient in the most efficient manner that will satisfy the patient’s needs as well as the insurance provider’s limits. [continue reading…]

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