Therapist's Role in the Classroom

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What is the therapist's role in the classroom setting.

Therapist's Role in the Classroom

Occasionally, a child who has autism or related pervasive developmental disorder may have special needs in the classroom setting that require the presence of a therapeutic staff support member (TSS). The therapist provides temporary behavioral services if the child is having trouble adjusting to the classroom environment. The TSS is a member of an agency that provides Wrap Around services. These services are behavioral in nature and they are designed to "wrap around" the child as needed in the home, community and school settings. Wrap Around services are temporary and they are faded as soon as possible, especially in the classroom setting. The goal is to have the child mainstreamed in the regular school setting without becoming dependant on TSS support. The TSS never provides academic services. The therapist is not supposed to tutor the student or correct his mistakes. This will only skew the teacher's perception of the child's abilities and this is not fair to the teacher or the child. The therapist functions to encourage on-task behavior, to help the child transition smoothly and to encourage social interaction. The therapist should follow the teacher's cues as to when intervention is necessary.



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