Types of Therapists
You may come across many different types of therapy, support services and co-teaching in special education. The names and descriptions may vary from state to state and country to country, but the basics are similar wherever you go. Here we will explore some of the other specialists you may encounter, as well as tips for forging a good working relationship in the classroom setting.
Here are several types of therapists you will likely encounter:
Occupational Therapist - this person assists with functioning and skills that can help a student get the most out of many of your planned classroom activities. They are often experts at areas such as hand functioning, meal time assistance and positioning of students in chairs, at tables, on the floor and out in the community. They are well-known for having little 'tricks of the trade' to make the life of your student (and you) much easier.
Physiotherapist - this person is concerned with the physical abilities of your students, particularly in areas such as muscle strength, tone, endurance, positioning, and the performance of muscles and joints. They are able to treat musculoskeletal problems, and may work alongside a doctor or medical specialist (such as an orthopedic surgeon) to plan a course of treatment and management.
Speech Therapist - this person is focused on the speech and language skills of your students. They use a range of strategies to help students develop effective communication skills that allow them to communicate well in the everyday world. They may use computer programs, key word signing, computer generated pictures and images, real objects, switches and voice output devices (such as Dynovox) to help students communicate their messages with others.