Staff Descriptions --Special Education

Please note that these are general definitions for the special education staff in our district, and they do not include all of the responsibilities nor specifics to each building or program.

Autism Specialist / Behavior Analyst / Behavior Therapist
These specialists are specifically trained to teach and support students with an Autism Spectrum Disorder as well as with other students who present with varied behavioral responses. These specialists provide consultation and support to staff and families based upon the individual needs of students. These specialists also provide training, attend Team meetings, support district programs and support programming.
 
Assistive Technology Coordinator
 
 
 
 
Our Districts’ Assistive Technology Coordinator provides leadership, training, and support in the use of assistive technology devices and services needed to access the curriculum and demonstrate learning to facilitate the education of students. The AT Coordinator oversees the consultative process, AT resources and building based AT consultants in order to provide training, support and consultation necessary to enable students with diverse learning needs to maximize success in academic and personal development.  The AT Coordinator participates in specific team meetings.
Consultants / Contracted Specialists
 
 
 
The districts contract with various individuals or agencies in order to provide supervision, training, specialized services and consultation based upon individual student needs and program development for the district. This may include contracting with clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, autism consultants, vision specialists, etc.

 

Neuropsychologist
 
 
 
 
Neuropsychologists are psychologists who specialize in studying brain behavior relationships and evaluating students who are thought to have difficulties related to how their nervous system is functioning Neuropsychologists have extensive training in the anatomy, physiology, and pathology of the nervous system.  Our Districts’ Neuropsychologist completes evaluations and provides consultation. 
 
Occupational Therapist
(OT / OTR)
 
Occupational Therapists work with students with significant neurological, sensory processing, or neuro-muscular deficits. OTs concentrate on the fine motor activities or the use of muscles necessary to complete school work, and focuses on sensory integration, visual motor and visual perceptual skills, coordination of movement, and on self-help skills, such as dressing, eating with a fork and spoon, etc. OTs work with individuals who have conditions that are mentally, physically, developmentally, or emotionally disabling. Our Districts’ OTs conduct evaluation, provide treatment or direct services, provide consultation to staff and families, participate in Team meetings, write/contribute to student IEPs, and communicate with outside providers when applicable. Direct services may be provided in the general education setting or in a separate setting.
 
 
Paraprofessional
(Para)
 
Paraprofessionals or paraeducators are members of the school staff and assist general education, special education, and specialists in the day to day instruction of students. Some work in special programs, general education classrooms, separate settings, and/or in community/vocational settings.
 
 
 
Physical Therapist
(PT)
 
Physical Therapist address large motor functioning and improve mobility.   PTs work with students with disabling conditions such as but not limited to fractures, head injuries, and cerebral palsy. Our Districts’ PTs conduct evaluations, provide treatment or direct services, provide consultation to staff and families, participate in Team meetings, write/contribute to student IEPs, and communicate with outside providers and healthcare providers when applicable. Direct services may be provided in the general education setting or in a separate setting.
 
Reading Specialist
 
 
 
Reading Specialists provide expert instruction, assessment, and leadership in reading. Our Districts’ Reading Specialists provide direct services, conduct assessment, consult to staff and families, participate in Team meetings, and write/contribute to student IEPs, Direct services may be provided in the general education setting or in a separate setting.
 
School Psychologist
 
 
School Psychologists are highly trained to evaluate student, consult to staff and families, and in some cases provide direct services to students. School Psychologists meet with the IEP Team, explain testing results, and make recommendations for the student’s placement and program. 
 
 
Special Education Academic Teacher
 
 
 
 
Special Education Teachers work with students who have a variety of disabilities. These disabilities can include but are not limited to specific learning disability, emotional impairment, attention deficit disorder, autism, cerebral palsy, visual impairments, etc.  These teachers use the state frameworks and modify or develop curriculum to meet each student’s individual needs.  Our Districts’ Special Education Teachers provide direct services, consult to staff and families, participate in Team meetings, and write/contribute to student IEPs. Direct services may be provided in the general education setting or in a separate setting.
 
Speech / Language Pathologist
(SLP)
 
 
Speech-Language Pathologist are specialists in the assessment, treatment and prevention of communication disorders. SLPs work with students who have speech, language, voice, fluency, or swallowing disorders that impact school functioning. Our Districts’ SLPs conduct evaluation, provide treatment or direct services, provide consultation to staff and families, participate in Team meetings, write/contribute to student IEPs, and communicate with outside providers when applicable. Direct services may be provided in the general education setting or in a separate setting.
 
Teacher of the Deaf
 
 
Teacher of the Deaf is trained in deaf education and supports students with hearing impairment who are integrated into the mainstream on an individual basis. Our Districts’ Teacher of the Deaf provides direct services, consults to staff and families, participate in Team meetings, write/contribute to student IEPs, and communicate with outside providers including audiologists when applicable. Direct services may be provided in the general education setting or in a separate setting.
 
Therapeutic Teacher / School Adjustment Counselor
 
 
Therapeutic or school adjustment counselors are specially trained to work with students experiencing social, emotional, and behavioral difficulties. 
Services and support are provided on an individual basis and are to assist students in developing effective coping mechanisms and problem-solving strategies towards becoming more fully integrated with their typical peers when appropriate. Our Districts’ Therapeutic Teachers / School Adjustment Counselors provide direct services, consult to staff and families, participate in Team meetings, write/contribute to student IEPs, and communicate with outside mental healthcare providers and social service agencies when applicable. Direct services may be provided in the general education setting or in a separate setting.
 
 
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