Related Therapeutic Services

Communication Skills/Speech Therapy

Two boys smile cheerfully after a communication skills and speech therapy class The Communication Skills/Speech Therapy Program at Little Keswick School teaches students how to be effective and appropriate communicators. Through direct instruction, role-playing, observation, and discussion, students learn how and why specific social language guidelines can improve interpersonal relationships in all aspects of life. Competent social language skills are as important as reading skills for success in today’s world. Most students develop adequate social language skills as part of natural maturation through imitation, trial and error, and general recognition of what makes the world work well for them, yet some students need direct instruction and supportive training to acquire effective social language skills.The Communication Skills Curriculum teaches students to:

  • Use appropriate nonverbal body language during conversations with peers and adults
  • Use appropriate verbal styles during conversations with peers and adults
  • Use appropriate turn-taking skills during conversations with peers and adults
  • Interpret nonverbal signals of the listener
  • Get attention appropriately
  • Give and receive compliments
  • Use appropriate communication for expressing disagreement
  • Use appropriate jokes, sarcasm, and humor

At Little Keswick, we offer a variety of service delivery models to meet the needs of our students:

Individual: A variety of student specific goals, such as oral and written language, articulation and fluency are addressed with the intent of carryover into the academic and residential settings.

Integrated Group: The speech pathologist and classroom teachers collaborate to address language based goals within the classroom setting.

Small Group Communication Skills: Through games and structured activities, these small groups will provide a setting to address improvement of social interactions across the academic and residential day.

Conversation Café: Students meet weekly in small groups during lunch. Table manners and conversation skills such as: opening and closing a discussion, topic maintenance, and joining a discussion “already in progress” are addressed.

The communication skills program is a core component of treatment at Little Keswick School. Because the social and neurological processes involved in successful communication are central to the academic, relational, and individual well-being of all of our students, these services are integrated throughout the program and they are specified on each student’s IEP/ISP. Initial screening determines whether the student receives intensive one-to-one work, or is assigned only to group interventions.

Occupational Therapy

Colorful windmills in a row are tangible results of successful occupational therapy school projectOccupational Therapy at Little Keswick School promotes “skills for the job of living.” Sensory integration and a variety of O.T. techniques are used to promote an adequate neurological foundation for the development of essential skills. Students that benefit from O.T. are those with developmental disabilities, learning disabilities, ADHD, sensory processing disorders, dysgraphia, sensory defensiveness, Tourettes Syndrome, affective disorders, OCD, and others.

Selected students are identified for support and development in:

  • Regulation of attention and emotions
  • Stress management and modulation of anxiety
  • Fine motor skills and perceptual skills (to write, type, and do projects with their hands)
  • Gross motor skills (to run, jump, throw, kick)
  • Motor planning ability (to arrive at a spot at the same time as a ball in order to kick it, to sense how hard to press when writing, to move food around in their mouth to chew adequately and eat neatly)
  • The ability to move across their midline with their eyes, arms, and legs in order to read, write, and do physical activity
  • Accurate sensory processing, and filtering (sensory defensiveness)
  • Age-appropriate social skills
  • Trunk stability (a requisite to sit and learn)

The Occupational Therapy program at Little Keswick School consists of a combination of the modalities listed below, depending on the individual needs of each student.

Individual Occupational Therapy is done on an individual basis one or two times a week to address specific coordination, sensory, and emotional needs as they relate to self regulation, executive functioning, fine motor skills, and visual motor skills used for handwriting.

Group Stress Management / Relaxation Class is provided one time a week for all of the students in each class. Methods are taught and practiced to help manage stress and anxiety on a daily basis in a variety of settings.

Small Group Occupational Therapy is provided for groups of 2 to 5 students to work on specific sensory, social and coordination goals, including handwriting and fine motor skills.

Integrated Occupational Therapy Services consists of ongoing intensive review, consultation, and intervention for O.T. goals and objectives. Relevant data from performance in all areas of the program are reviewed weekly by the licensed OTR, and personalized intervention plans are devised with academic and milieu staff members. Exercises are prescribed and scripts are provided to staff for personalized interactions.

Art Therapy

Occupational therapy project for young boys at Little Keswick School, a residential therapeutic school Art Therapy provides a means by which students may explore feelings, increase awareness of self and others, enhance cognitive abilities, and enjoy the pleasure of making art in non-verbal and socially acceptable forms. Images become a metaphor for the individual’s understanding of his situation or reality, allowing for discharge of feelings, conflicts, fears, and concerns, and allowing for dialogue at a symbolic level. Art becomes an extension of the child, which can be used to support, to value, to empower, and to give the child a voice. The process of the session may be structured or open-ended, depending on the interest or goal of the child. Some choose to engage in long-term projects, whereas others create a product in one session. The student may verbally discuss his artwork or he may work quietly. Referral for Art Therapy may include an interest in art, an interview, and/or a screening process. Students do not have to be artistically inclined, but may have an interest in expressing themselves creatively, which is helpful for students who have difficulty with verbal expression. Art Therapy usually meets one time a week for a 45-minute session, although it can be more frequent. With the student’s permission, the art process and artwork is often shared with the treatment team.A variety of materials are presented to the student, such as pencil, colored pencils, oil and chalk pastels, markers, watercolor and acrylic paints, and three-dimensional materials such as clay, plaster, sculpey, and craft items. Another avenue for self expression includes the sandtray, which uses miniature figures for the student to make a picture in the sand and then to tell a story. This allows him to set up a world to explore the inner conflict, fears, strength, and emotions in a symbolic form, in a safe, protected, accepting environment.