Director of Special and Alternative Education
Roberta Matthews


Occupational Therapists Occupational therapists provide evaluation, consultation and therapy for students who demonstrate delays in the areas of visual motor, fine motor, visual perception, sensory processing and activities of daily living. These delays must impact the student’s daily performance in the classroom. Occupational therapists also play an important role in the multidisciplinary team consulting with teachers as well as other related service team members. A physician's prescription is required for this service.

Physical Therapists Physical therapists provide services to students who have orthopedic, neuromuscular, developmental gross motor delays or who have difficulty navigating their school environment for physical reasons. Physical therapists also address medical equipment needs such as wheelchairs and orthopedic braces. Physical therapy prescriptions are required and can be written by the child’s primary care physician or a consulting specialist.

Social Workers School social workers are a part of the total educational team of a school working to provide the best educational experience for all pupils. As an integral part of this team, school social work services provide counseling to students and families, serve as liaison among home, school and community agencies and prepare social histories as a part of the assessment process for children reviewed by the Committee on Special Education. School social workers encourage early identification of potential problematic situations to prevent social/emotional problems from intensifying, thus assuring optimum academic and social benefits for all students in the education setting.

Transition Specialist The transition specialist assists districts in addressing the needs of students 15 and older requiring a transition plan. A certified professional works with a student on developing the transition plan, arranging the school to work transitions, connecting with other service agencies and coordinating vocational assessments.

Speech and Language Therapist: Serving CSE and CPSESpeech and language therapists provide appropriate speech-language services in Pre-K, elementary, middle, junior high, and high schools. Speech and language therapists work with students exhibiting the full range of communication disorders (as measured by standardized testing), including those involving language, auditory processing, articulation, fluency, and voice/resonance. Speech therapy services may address personal, social/emotional, academic and vocational needs that have an impact on attainment of educational goals as well. The Committee on Special Education typically puts speech/language services in place. The frequency of service is based on the student’s need.

Although many therapists are actively involved as resource persons to primary level classroom teachers, usually, the therapist works with children individually or in small groups. Speech and language therapists have become key players in the success of students who are culturally and linguistically diverse as they focus on helping students with a wide range of speech-language-related problems to meet performance standards.

Speech and Language Therapist: Speech ImprovementSpeech therapy may be provided to students who are not processed through the Committee on Special Education. This service is eligible for BOCES aid but not high-cost aid.

Speech-Language Pathologist: Consulting ServicesA licensed speech-language pathologist is provided to school districts as a both a direct service provider and a consultant to certified teachers of speech and hearing impaired. The pathologist reviews the work of the speech teacher and is available for consultation by other teachers and parents. This arrangement creates eligibility for the district to apply for Medicaid reimbursement.