The mission of the Department of Clinical Services at Accotink Academy is to promote the social, emotional and behavioral health of the students. This is accomplished through the following modalities: Individual Therapy – Students are provided with weekly individual therapy to address behavioral and emotional difficulties that interfere with optimal classroom performance and availability for learning; Group Therapy – Students receive group therapy intervention to assist them in the development of appropriate and adaptive interpersonal skills, active problem-solving, and conflict resolution; Classroom Consultation – Psychologists serve as members of the multidisciplinary team. In this capacity, psychologists may observe classroom behavior and dynamics and plan interventions to address classroom concerns;
Case Management – Psychologists serve as the contact person at the school for all clinical issues and communicate with parents/guardians, outside service providers, and agencies to make recommendations and promote continuity of care across student environments; Crisis Intervention – Psychologists/ Social Workers provide primary intervention with students when crises arise.
The mission of the Behavioral Intervention Center (BIC) is to provide a safe, contained area for students who are not following behavioral expectations in the school environment. Specifically, the BIC provides time-out from the reinforcing properties of the classroom and school communities for various disruptive behaviors including behavioral outbursts, verbal abuse, threatening, and other unsafe behaviors, i.e., physical aggression and location violations. BIC staff members are experienced in the various behavioral expectations, violations, and their consequences. They also possess a working knowledge of the components of successful behavior management/modification and are therefore able to diffuse potentially volatile situations, contain escalations, and promote calming and regrouping for swift re-entry into the classroom. BIC staff are trained and certified the in the Handle with Care method of verbal deescalation and physical management of behavior.
Art therapy is a specialized form of psychotherapy facilitated by a registered clinical art therapist. Through both verbal and non-verbal means, an art therapist encourages individuals to use the creative process for the expression and exploration of concerns, thoughts, and feelings. Although this can occur directly, students at Accotink Academy more frequently utilize the safety of symbolism and metaphor. Unconscious or emotionally charged material is accessed in a way that is often less threatening to the student than verbal means alone. Intense, destructive, or maladaptive thoughts and feelings can be expressed appropriately and productively through the creative process. Art-making itself provides countless opportunities for emotionally sensitive students to practice adaptive coping skills, such as tolerating frustration, delaying gratification, and controlling impulses. An art therapist assists in translating successes in the art therapy office to academic and home environments. Art therapy often gives the student a sense of mastery over who they are and what they will become. It is available individually, as well as in a group setting.
The art therapists assist psychologists in classroom consultation, case management, and crisis intervention. The art therapist will provide these services exclusively if the art therapist is the primary therapist.
The role of the speech/language pathologist at Accotink Academy is to evaluate, recommend, plan, and deliver the appropriate service for any students identified as needing speech and language intervention. Service delivery is a dynamic concept and changes as the needs of the students change. Services may be provided to students in the following service delivery models: individual services, classroom based services, small group options, monitoring and collaborative consultation.
Pragmatic Language Group
This group is designed to give children with social language impairment the ability to interact and apply social pragmatic language skills learned in a therapist-guided group interaction. Each group is determined based on age, language and social skills levels. Most sessions are held in group of four to six students.
The groups are specifically designed to help the student with the following skills:
- Michelle Garcia Winner’s Social Thinking curriculum and vocabulary
- Unstuck and On Target curriculum and vocabulary
- Awareness of verbal and nonverbal social cues
- Conversation and turn-taking
- Abstract and inferential thinking
- How to create and foster friendships
- Emotional regulation
The mission of the Occupational Therapy Department is to improve or restore optimum levels of function for students at Accotink Academy within the school environment, home environment, and in the community. Therapeutic intervention is provided individually and in group sessions. In individual intervention, the student receives therapy in a one-to-one situation to focus on his or her deficit areas. The areas of specialty, which the occupational therapist provides service for include: gross-motor skill development, fine-motor skill development; visual-perceptual skills, visual-motor skills, sensory processing; cognitive skills; social skills, psycho-social skills, self-care, general activities of daily living; and play and leisure skills. Group intervention focuses on transferring individual skills to the group setting. The occupational therapy group sessions include sensory motor/activity-based group, social skill building/task-based group, and basic living skills group.