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Service Providers

 

Mental Health Team

Metro Deaf School has a Mental Health Team that includes two School Social Workers, a School Counselor, and a School Psychologist available to support students in Pre-K to 12th grades, families, and staff. The Mental Health Team serves as the link between home, school, and community. As members of the education team, they promote and support students' academic and social success with specialized services that may include, but are not limited to:  

  • Work with students individually, in small groups, and in the classroom.
  • Teach students skills for problem solving and decision making.
  • Support students with improving self-esteem, social skills, and self control.
  • Support students in identifying and applying coping skills for challenges either at home or in school.
  • Teach students to advocate for themselves.
  • Work with students to address school concerns (i.e., attendance, grades, discipline, etc.).
  • Advocate for student needs.
  • Develop and maintain connections between families and school.
  • Provide families with resources, information, and referrals to community services/agencies.
  • Collaboration and consultation with community agencies, organizations, and other professionals.
  • Collaborate with classroom staff to develop classroom management strategies.
  • Complete Functional Behavioral Assessments (FBAs) and behavioral consultation as requested.
  • Complete evaluations in areas of Intellectual Functioning, Social Emotional Behavioral Skills, and Functional/Adaptive Skills.
  • Involvement in school wide character and anti-bullying education.
  • Identify students in crisis and provide support.

 

The Mental Health Team is available to all students and their families for support and referrals.  Please contact msweetmilk@mdsmn.org if you would like additional information.

 

 Occupational Therapy

At MDS the Occupational Therapy staff  help students develop skills in order to achieve their highest level of success and independence within the classroom. Students are seen in the engaging OT/PT room, in their classroom, or as part of S.M.A.R.T programming (Stimulating Maturity through Accelerated Readiness Training).

In the school setting, the occupational therapy staff assist in the student’s ability to engage in school-related activities and assist in strengthening a student’s skills in many ways.  These include:

  • Improving academic skills needed to complete classroom tasks.  Examples include: handwriting, attention span.
  • Addressing visual perceptual challenges that affect the student’s ability to complete school related tasks.
  • Addressing fine and gross motor skills needed during class time and recess.
  • Improving independence with basic self-help skills that are performed at school.
  • Addressing difficulty regulating the senses to improve educational performance.  

 

Zones of Regulation

The Zones of Regulation is taught and used school-wide at MDS.  “The Zones” is a curriculum geared toward helping students gain skills in consciously regulating their actions, which in turn leads to increased control and problem solving abilities. The curriculum’s learning activities are designed to help students recognize when they are in different states called “zones,” with each of four zones represented by a different color. In the activities, students also learn how to use strategies or tools to stay in a zone or move from one to another. Students explore calming techniques, cognitive strategies, and sensory supports so they will have a toolbox of methods to use to move between zones for optimal focus and attention on school activities.

Please contact Kari Olson at kolson@mdsmn.org if you would like more information.

Physical Therapist

MDS has a full-time Physical Therapist on staff.  The Physical Therapist becomes involved with a student if there is a disability or deficit in their strength, balance, speed and agility, or coordination that interferes with their educational performance and ability to benefit from their education program.  When the team agrees that Physical Therapy is needed as a resource to support a student, services can be added to promote motor development and the student’s ability to participate in everyday routines and activities that are part of their program.

The Physical Therapist designs and performs therapeutic interventions focusing on functional mobility and safe, efficient access and participation in educational activities and routines in the natural learning environment.  Specialized services the Physical Therapist offers may include but are not limited to:

  • Gathering appropriate information from students, parents, and other team members regarding the child’s functional motor performance in the school setting
  • Selecting, administering, and interpreting appropriate screening instruments or standardized assessments
  • Collaborating with students’ IEP teams, examining and evaluating eligible students’ strengths and areas of need to establish their ability to participate in school activities and routines   
  • Designing and implementing PT interventions that will promote students’ growth to enable them to benefit from their educational program
  • Measuring and documenting student progress resulting from the designed PT interventions
  • Teaching and training family members and educational personnel in an effort to help the student achieve their IEP goals and objectives.  
  • Adapting environments to facilitate student access and participation in their educational program
  • Educating school personnel and families to promote inclusion of students within the educational setting
  • Referring students to other related service personnel and to healthcare providers as appropriate

S.M.A.R.T   Program

MDS offers the SMART (Stimulating Maturity through Accelerated Readiness Training) curriculum to all of our first through 5th grade students, and is available to Middle School students on an “as needed” basis.  Our elementary SMART program combines physical and classroom activities in an obstacle course format, including floor mats, rebounders, balance beam, and spinning activities. All activities combine gross motor and visual motor components.  Our Middle School SMART program is more sophisticated in order to keep the interest of our maturing students, and incorporates whole body movements combined with visual motor work, balance, and a variety of activities promoting hand/eye and whole body coordination. Both programs are designed to improve hand/eye coordination, vision, fine motor skills, sequencing, left/right awareness, and spatial relations.  

For more information on this program please contact Pam Weber at pweber@mdsmn.org

Prospective Students