Therapy Services

We have specialists at our school who provide Therapy Services in the areas of Speech, Music, and Reading Therapy.  As we have come to have a greater understanding of the natural development of all children and of those with special needs, we recognize that most children, even typical children, have need of special services at some point in their lives.

Whether a child has a mild learning difference or a more severe disability, we recommend private therapy if a child is struggling behaviorally or with reading or speech (as this impacts academic, social and emotional development) and we suggest that therapy be received as early in the child’s life as possible.  Early intervention therapies are key and may provide the adaptive tools necessary for a child to completely overcome impediments that come with a learning difference or disability.

Speech Therapy

At Elizabeth Academy we believe that language and communication are the seed and sustenance of all knowledge and at the core of human intelligence. Therefore, we are committed to offering whatever linguistic mode is most natural to the child in these formative years. For this reason, prior to formal admission to the Elizabeth Academy, speech and language development are assessed.
 
We recognize that all children progress at varying levels of speech development. Whether sign language, gesture, picture exchanges or vocalizations are used, the level of communication skills are respected and enhanced through peer interactions under the guidance of the teachers and speech therapy assistants.

Music Therapy

Music Therapy is a treatment option that is not always well understood. Where speech therapy addresses speech and communication, and reading therapy addresses reading, the main focus of music therapy is not to address musical skills. Instead, Music Therapy uses music and its unique properties, (such as the fact that it stimulates all parts of the brain), to bring about positive change in everyday areas of functioning. Areas addressed by music therapy may include speech/communication, fine and gross motor development, social skills, cognitive development (such as attention span, academics, and memory), sensory integration, and emotional issues.

Examples of goals addressed in music therapy may include: to attend to an instrument or song for a specified length of time, to take turns on an instrument, to fill in song lyrics to increase speech production, to increase self confidence by creating an original song or learning an instrument, to improve fine motor skills through playing patterns on the piano, or to use instruments as an outlet for emotional expression.

For many children, these areas are most effectively addressed in the individual setting where the music can be uniquely created and geared toward that child’s individual needs. For others, a group setting may be most appropriate if they are with peers who have similar needs. The most appropriate setting is determined by the music therapist after a thorough assessment of needs. As with any therapy, the intent of music therapy is to work toward mastery in the most effective setting and to generalize acquired skills to everyday life. 

Music therapy can be used to address academic, intellectual, social, sensory, communicative, physical and emotional issues for individuals both with and without special needs. At Elizabeth Academy, we will assess your child and create goals and objectives based on each child's unique needs. We will then design music therapy interventions to address those areas of need. In addition to teacher/parent feed back, these objectives will be specifically determined by Music Therapist observation and assessment of the child. Please feel free to contact our Music Therapy staff to see if Music Therapy would be a beneficial adjunctive therapy for your child. Music Therapy services are paid directly to Elizabeth Academy.   

Physical Therapy

For our students with physical needs, our physical therapist may address gross motor skills such as stability and trunk control, rolling, sitting, crawling and walking. As a child improves coordination and strength, they will become more mobile and experience increased independence. Physical therapy provides a foundation of physical skills and the therapist may also make recommendations for adaptive equipment when needed. Our physical therapist will be available for consultation and individual therapy for students with physical and motor needs.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy in early childhood focuses on the development of the skills necessary for a child’s occupation of play, self-help and pre-academics. Areas of intervention may include fine motor skill development, visual perceptual skills, sensory integration, social skills, pre-writing and activities of daily living such as dressing and feeding.

Reading Therapy​

Our reading therapist conducts a 45-minute evaluation to determine if the multisensory reading curriculum is a match for your child.  This evaluation includes a Dyslexia Determination Test, spelling assessment, writing assessment, sight word recognition, reading rate, fluency, and comprehension evaluation. Reading Therapy services are paid directly to Elizabeth Academy. 

Our reading therapist uses the Take Flight Curriculum: A Comprehensive Intervention for Students with Dyslexia. Considered the most effective intervention for students with dyslexia, Take Flight addresses the five components of effective reading instruction identified by the National Reading Panel’s research:

  • Phonemic Awareness – following established procedures for explicitly teaching the relationships between speech-sound production and spelling-sound patterns
  • Phonics – providing a systematic approach for single word decoding
  • Fluency – using research-proven directed practice in repeated reading of words, phrases and passages to help students read newly encountered text more fluently
  • Vocabulary – featuring multiple word learning strategies (definitional, structural, contextual) and explicit teaching techniques with application in text
  • Reading Comprehension – teaching students to explicitly use and articulate multiple comprehension strategies (i.e., cooperative learning, story structure, question generation and answering, summarization and comprehension monitoring)

About Dyslexia
Contrary to popular belief, Dyslexia is more than just seeing words “backwards.” Dyslexia is a learning disorder that affects approximately 17 percent of children. Those diagnosed with dyslexia have trouble connecting sounds to letter symbols. This affects the way children with dyslexia learn to read and spell. Fortunately, comprehensive studies have found that students who complete Take Flight instruction show significant growth in all areas of reading skills.
•    Follow-up research with children who completed treatment indicates that students maintain the benefits of instruction on word reading skills and continue to improve in reading comprehension after one year.
•    Take Flight is effective when used in schools by teachers with advanced training in treating learning disorders.
•    Students with the lowest reading skills acquire the strongest gains from Take Flight instruction.

Click on the following link for a fact sheet on the common characteristics of dyslexia:
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