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  • What if I think my child may have special needs?

    There are general ages at which children should be able to do certain things. The following may help you determine if your child could benefit from a referral for early intervention services.

    Two Years

    Recognizes familiar pictures in books

    Turns page of a book independently

    Builds a block tower

    Asks for item by name

    Starts putting two words together

    Three Years

    Walks up and down stairs

    Responds to directions

    Begins to ask questions Puts together simple puzzles

    Strings beads or completes simple lacing

    Scribbles with crayons

    Feeds self

    Asks to use the potty

    Can play alone for longer periods of time

    Speech is understandable about 80-85% of the time

    Four Years

    Rides a tricycle

    Points to colors and simple shapes

    Knows age and full name

    Plays with other children

    Answers most questions

    Uses 4-5 word sentences

    Cuts on a line with scissors

    Copies simple shapes

    Five Years

    Can carry on a conversation

    Prints a few capital letters

    Recognizes own printed name

    Colors within lines

    Counts 10 objects

    Plays cooperative games

    Speech understandable 95% of time

    Special Education services are available for eligible children ages three through five. Early intervention is important for children with special needs.

    Posey County Special Services provide special education services for eligible preschool children. Preschool children are referred for an educational evaluation through child find activities.
  • Response-To-lntervention (RTI) is primarily a general education initiative designed to address the needs of struggling learners early in their educational experience.  It is a process which includes the provision of systematic, research-based instruction and interventions.   The instruction/interventions are matched to student needs and the monitoring of progress is continuous.  Furthermore, RTI is designed as an early intervention to prevent long-term academic failure.

    The following is a listing of the key features of an RTI Process:
    • RTI is primarily a general education initiative designed to address the needs of struggling learners early in their educational experience.
    • RTI is based on a problem-solving model that uses data to inform decision-making
    • RTI interventions are systematically applied and derived from research-based practices.
    • RTI is highly dependent on progress monitoring and data collection.
    • RTI intervention plans are designed, implemented, and monitored by a multi-disciplinary team of professionals.
    • RTI can replace the I.Q. discrepancy model for determining the presence of a learning disability.

    pdf  Click here to review more RTI Information.
  • A 504 Plan is a plan developed to ensure that a child who has a disability identified under the law and is attending an elementary or secondary educational institution receives accommodations that will ensure their academic success and access to the learning environment.  A 504 plan spells out the modifications and accommodations that will be needed for students to have an opportunity to perform at the same level as their peers, and might include such things as: wheelchair ramps, blood sugar monitoring, an extra set of textbooks, a peanut-free lunch.
  • Provides a full range of behavioral therapy services, following established protocols and the student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP) and by the Intervention and Referral Team (IRT). Assists in the identification and diagnosis of students who have a disease, disorder, impairment, activity limitation, or participation restriction which interferes with their ability to function independently in daily life roles. Provides a treatment plan to promote wellness, physical and mental development, visual and perceptual skills, reasoning and cognitive skills.
  • The school-based occupational therapist helps children prepare for and perform important learning and school-related activities in order to fulfill their role as students. In this setting, occupational therapists support academic and non-academic outcomes, including social skills, math, reading and writing (i.e., literacy), behavior management, recess, participation in sports, self-help skills, prevocational/vocational participation, and more, for children and students with disabilities, 3 to 21 years of age.
  • The school-based physical therapist promotes motor development and the student’s participation in everyday routines and activities that are part of the educational program. The physical therapist performs therapeutic interventions, including compensation, remediation and prevention strategies and adaptations, focusing on functional mobility and safe, efficient access and participation in activities and routines in natural learning environments.
  • School psychologists work with students, parents, teachers and administration in both elementary and secondary schools to create healthy learning environments, and help address the wide range of challenges that students face in school.

    Psychologists study the human mind and behavior, and note how people relate to one another. They look for patterns that will help them understand students and try to predict—and prevent—emotional crises so that students can have healthy school experiences. When students do have problems, school psychologists help with a variety of psychological interventions.
  • Speech-Language Pathologists (SLP) are professionals who assess and diagnose individuals with speech and language disorders. They participate in the team evaluation of cognitive disorders. SLPs are informally referred to as speech therapists.

    Speech is the spoken production of language and the process through which sounds are produced. Several parts of the body work together to produce sound waves, and this motor production of speech is called articulation. The parts of the vocal tract involved with speech include the lips, tongue, teeth, throat, vocal folds, and lungs. Speech disorders affect the physical mechanisms of communication and cause problems with articulation or phonology. Examples of speech disorders include stuttering, lisping, and voice disorders.

    Language is a system used to represent thoughts and ideas. Language is made up of several rules that explain what words mean, how to make new words, and how to put words together to form sentences. A community must share the same language in order to attach meaning to utterances. The method of delivery of language may be visual (e.g., American Sign Language), auditory (e.g., English), and/or written. Humans are the only creatures innately capable of using language to discuss an endless number of topics. Language disorders can be developmental or acquired (e.g., specific language impairment and aphasia, respectively).

    Communication is the exchange of information and ideas through the use of speech and language. The transfer of information is often spoken, but may also be implied through body language or contextual cues such as intonation or hesitation. Usually, communication is a four-step process:
    1. Encoding: the speaker creates the message in his mind
    2. Transmittal: the speaker sends the message
    3. Reception: the listener receives the message
    4. Decoding: the listener breaks down the message in his mind

    If a problem occurs at any step of the process, the message might not be communicated. Without the ability to communicate through speech and language, we would not be able to tell a doctor that we have a stomach ache, choose food from a menu, or say “I love you” to our children. Communication is a most basic component of human nature and it develops before we are even conscious of it.
  • Posey County Special Services strives to empower individuals as they prepare today for their lives tomorrow by coordinating or creating resources and opportunities within the community to achieve personal, societal and career goals. Vocational Rehabilitation and Bureau of Developmental Disabilities are two of the many agencies that we collaborate with to assist independence upon life after high school.

    Functions of Transition Planning
    1. Introduces the family to adult services
    2. Determines necessary supports for employment and community living
    3. Provides information to adult service agencies regarding individual needs
    4. Provides information critical to determining appropriate IEP goals.
    Through the IEP, parents and educators can target skill development necessary for a smooth transition.
  • Sample Choices for Desired Post-School Outcomes

    Employment
    • None due to expected enrollment in post-secondary education
    • Competitive employment (no need for support)
    • Competitive employment (time-limited support)
    • Supported employment (infrequent support)
    • Supported employment (daily support)
    Post-Secondary Education or Training
    • None due to expected post-secondary employment
    • College or university (no need for support)
    • College or university (needs support)
    • Technical/trade school (no need for support)
    • Technical/trade school (needs support)
    • Adult education classes (no need for support)
    • Adult education classes (needs support)
    Residential
    • With parents or relatives
    • Independent living (no need for support)
    • Independent living (time-limited support)
    • Independent living (ongoing, but infrequent support)
    • Independent living (daily support)
    • Group home living (supervision)
    • Group home living (supervision and training)
    • Group home living (skilled nursing)
    Recreation and Leisure
    • No assistance required for person to participate in community recreation and leisure activities
    • Time-limited support needed for person to participate in community recreation and leisure activities
    • Ongoing, infrequent support needed for person to participate in community recreation and leisure activities
    • Ongoing, daily support needed for person to participate in community recreation and leisure activities

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