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The Child Study Team

The Child Study Team consists of a Learning Disabilities Teacher Consultant (LDT/C), a School Psychologist, a School Social Worker and a Speech/Language Pathologist as required by the New Jersey Department of Education. Child Study Team personnel share many common skills such as child advocacy, understanding of school functioning, knowledge and implementation of special education law, case management, transition planning, in-service training, research, and community collaboration. However, each discipline approaches the intervention and eligibility process from a different perspective based on the training and skills of each profession.

Members of the Westampton Child Study Team

Learning Disabilities Teacher Consultant (LDT/C)

The Learning Disabilities Teacher-Consultant (LDT-C) functions in the school environment as an educational diagnostician, instructional programmer and Child Study Team member. Learning Disabilities Teacher Consultants work in collaboration with other members of a child study team to determine eligibility for special services. LDTCs also consult with parents, teachers, and other school personnel to provide research-based instructional strategies to assist pupils struggling academically. The LDT-C is required to be dually certified as a teacher. The requirement of classroom teaching experience offers a multi-dimensional aspect to the assessment and implementation processes. Learning Disability Teacher-Consultants (LDT-C) use their understanding of classroom functioning, effective teaching and adaptive instruction to help students maximize their learning potential and provide practical assistance to their teachers. Services provided include teacher/student consultation, preventative pre-referral intervention, assessment, coordination of services, and program development. An educational assessment shall be the responsibility of a learning disabilities teacher-consultant employed by the district board of education. The assessment should include both standardized and functional assessments, review of the student’s work samples and the student’s records, classroom observations, interviews of teacher and other relevant parties, evaluation and analysis of the student’s academic performance and learning characteristics.

School Psychologist

School Psychologists tailor their services to the particular needs of each child and each situation and participate in special education by administering psychological tests. A psychological assessment shall be the responsibility of a School Psychologist employed by the district Board of Education. The psychological assessment should include standardized and functional analysis of a student’s current cognitive, intellectual, adaptive, social, emotional and behavioral status in the context of his/her environments. The assessment should include consultation with parents, educators, and relevant professionals; a student interview; and observation of the student in other than a testing situation. A school psychologist is also responsible for meeting with teachers to discuss learning, behavioral, familial and social problems. He is a resource to assist in promoting positive behaviors, helping students process their problems, and plan goals and action. School Psychologists are trained to assess and counsel students with behavioral, emotional, and educational concerns through consultation, prevention, crisis management, evaluation, and program development.

School Social Worker

The expertise of the school social worker lies in assessing the student in relation to the family, school and community. School Social Workers provide unique services to students and their families, helping the students attain maximum benefits from their educational programs. The School Social Worker's knowledge of social, emotional, cultural and economic differences among children and families enable them to be the liaison between school, family and community. In this role, the school social worker gathers information concerning the student's developmental milestones and health status. Family and school histories, as they pertain to the child's current school progress, are also obtained. The school social worker also is the primary specialist who coordinates community resources on behalf of students. As a member of the educational team, a social assessment shall be the responsibility of a School Social Worker employed by the district board of education. The social assessment shall include observation of the student and communication with the student's parent(s) and / or guardian(s). It shall also include an evaluation of the student's adaptive social functioning and emotional development and of the family, social, and cultural factors which influence the student's learning and behavior in the educational setting.

Speech/Lanugage Therapist

The Speech and Language Specialist assesses a student's communication abilities. This may include evaluation in articulation, phonology, fluency, voice, or any combination, that is unrelated to dialect, cultural difference or the influence of a foreign language adversely affecting a student's educational performance. Speech-Language Specialists are experts in all areas of communication who make assessments, analyses and classifications of students' communication competencies and characteristics. As a member of the educational team, the Speech Language Specialist participates in the planning of educational programs for children with communication disorders. Speech Language Specialists plan, prepare and deliver treatment programs for children with speech and language deficiencies. They also serve as resource persons in the area of speech and language development and disorders to classroom teachers, parents, administrators and the child study team. A speech and language assessment shall be the responsibility of a Speech/Language Pathologist employed by the Westampton Township Board of Education. The assessment shall include observations of the student in other than a testing session, consultation with the classroom teacher, communication with the parent(s) and / or guardian(s), and an evaluation and analysis of speech and language development.

Occupational Therapist

School based Occupational Therapy (OT) is provided when a student needs services to function in an educational environment. The need for OT services is identified through the use of formal and informal assessments conducted by the therapist. Direct OT services consist of group and/or individual sessions provided in class or out of class where the child’s specific goals are addressed through hands on, purposeful activity. Consultation is an ongoing communication between the therapist, parent, teacher and student where problem solving and trial of different adaptations are used to allow the student to functional optimally in his/her educational environment without the need for direct services.

Physical Therapist

School based Physical Therapy (PT) may be requested when there are those unique situations in which gross motor activity may significantly impact a student’s ability to access their education. The school therapist works on school related goals to help the student benefit from their educational program. Educational performance for young children also includes self-help skills, gross motor skills and participation in physical education classes. PT services can take place in a variety of school settings such as a classroom, hallway, gym, and playground or in separate therapy room. Collaborating with educational staff to modify the child’s environment and daily school activities is also part of school therapy.

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