Mercy is blessed to have staff from the Carbon Lehigh Intermediate Unit-21 (CLIU21) provide occupational, physical and speech therapies on a weekly basis, as arranged by the students’ family. Therapy services may include student intervention, consultation with school personnel and parents, participation in the student’s team process, establishment and/or review of accommodations and classroom strategies, equipment needs and/or student observations.
Occupational Therapy (OT)
Occupational therapy addresses areas including behavior, fine-motor skills, self-care skills, gross-motor skills, visual-perceptual and visual motor skills, feeding, attention to task, handwriting and sensory strategies to increase a student’s independence and/or ability to participate in classroom tasks and daily/functional tasks.
Physical Therapy (PT)
Physical Physical therapy addresses areas such as exercise, strength, ambulation, motor skills and independence to increase a student’s independence and/or ability to participate within the school environment. Each student receiving physical and/or occupation therapy can be seen in different settings, the student might be seen in any number of places outside his/her regular classroom as well as within the regular classroom setting, depending on his/her needs.
Each School Age classroom participates weekly in a large-group speech lesson that targets basic concepts, following directions and, most importantly, social skills. Students typically receive a concept sheet to inform families of the skills we are practicing. Some students also participate in small-group speech therapy sessions. These sessions focus on individualized student needs based on their communication plans that are created based on parent, teacher and therapist input at the start of each school year. Progress on communication goals is reported to families twice during the school year. Mercy provides a very special environment to enhance students’ skills. Teachers, therapists and support staff make a joint effort to teach these skills in and out of the classroom. Practice across multiple partners and multiple environments has enabled our students’ skills to blossom.
Students express themselves musically each week. Mrs. Kaczmarek plays music with her guitar and other instruments in each classroom or hosting music lovers in the auditorium. In addition, Music Therapy Associates in Whitehall comes to play with all groups each Thursday. Participants sing and play different instruments and materials, all designed to foster a love of music as well as develop well-rounded skills. The Community Music School helps to bring Music Therapy Associates to Mercy, and we are grateful for the support we receive. Individualized musical therapy sessions are also available for Mercy families.