Horry County Schools offers related services for students who qualify as part of its provision of a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to all students with disabilities in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA). A variety of support service options are available to students who qualify including: speech, occupational, & physical therapies; assistive technology; as well as vision and orientation & mobility services. Therapists and other instructional professionals provide student-specific interventions which are designed to meet the unique educational needs of each child.
Speech-Language Therapy services focus on supporting students’ communication in the educational environment, as well as encouraging growth which will enable the student to effectively participate in other communication contexts outside the school setting. Speech-language therapists may provide interventions to improve articulation; speech fluency; voice; and/or expressive & receptive language abilities. Services provided by speech-language therapists may include: screening, intervention, evaluation, consultation, and direct therapy.
The primary focus of Occupational Therapy (OT) in the school setting is to enhance a student’s ability to function and participate in an educational program. This may be addressed through activities to increase movement and strength in a student’s use of his/her hands and arms. Sensory and/or sensorimotor activities may also be used to assist in integrating the sensory systems. OT services in the schools may address: fine motor (writing and using scissors), self-help skills (school related eating or dressing), sensory-motor processing (using the senses and muscles), or providing accommodations (adaptive paper, pencil grips, or seat cushions). Services provided by occupational therapists may include: screening, intervention, evaluation, consultation, and direct therapy.
The primary focus of Physical Therapy (PT) in the school setting is to ensure that each student is able to function in their educational setting. Physical Therapy services generally address a child’s posture, muscle strength, mobility, and organization of movement in educational environment. Physical Therapy services in the schools may address: functional mobility (moving safely through the classroom and school), positioning (sitting appropriately in class), monitor the function, fit, and proper use of mobility aids and devices, and gross motor skills (motor coordination and body awareness). Services provided by physical therapists may include: screening, intervention, evaluation, consultation, and direct therapy.
The primary focus of Vision Services in the school setting is to enhance a student’s ability to function and participate in an educational program. Teachers of the Visually Impaired review vision reports, confer with doctors and families and interpret this information for the school team. They also can assess a student’s functional vision with regards to his/her educational environment. Teachers of the Visually Impaired may provide services in the school environment such as: use of braille, large print, or other communication adaptations; utilization of residual vision; use of low vision aids, technology, and specialized equipment; and independent living and social interaction skills. Services provided by teachers of the visually impaired may include: screening, intervention, evaluation, consultation, and direct service provision.
Orientation and Mobility
The focus of Orientation & Mobility services are to work with students who have a visual impairment to travel throughout the school environment safely and efficiently. Instruction in Orientation and Mobility includes techniques for independent travel and progress towards independence in all travel environments. Orientation and Mobility may provide services in the school setting such as: concept development in body awareness and directional/positional awareness; sighted guide techniques; use of low vision aids related to travel skills; and use of a white cane, a telescopic device, or another adaption. Services provided by orientation and mobility staff may include: screening, intervention, evaluation, consultation, and direct therapy.
The focus of the Assistive Technology Support Team is to work in collaboration with a student’s IEP team to determine if assistive devices or techniques may be indicated to enable a student to participate in his/her educational program. The Assistive Technology Support Team offers assistance in selecting appropriate devices; obtaining the devices or programs for trial and/or use for students; and providing equipment training to students and staff. The Assistive Technology Support Team may provide services in the school environment through: exploring other means of communication for students who find it difficult to express themselves verbally; using alternative devices or techniques to assist students who find it difficult to use traditional written communication; assisting visually impaired students who find it difficult to read regular print materials; and assisting students in overcoming difficult listening environments, as well as provide devices to help students with hearing impairments function appropriately in their daily communication settings.