STAR Program Services

Cape Cod Collaborative S.T.A.R. Program offers direct and consultive services from Speech, Occupational and Physical Therapists according to a student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP). The S.T.A.R. Program offers embedded consultation from a social worker and BCBA.  Integral to the S.T.A.R. Program is the concept of integrated therapies; therapists work with all staff to embed the therapy goals into a student’s daily activities and lessons to maximize effectiveness/potential.

S.T.A.R. therapists collaborate with all staff to support a school-wide emotional / sensory / behavioral regulation program.  Therapists participate in daily/weekly child-study meetings to provide ongoing consultation to staff. Therapists participate in weekly school-wide staff meetings to provide ongoing input and support to the school community.

S.T.A.R. Occupational and Speech therapists, together with the program nurses and select teachers, coordinate a “feeding team” that is experienced in developing student goals for school feeding programs.

 

Speech Therapists
Communication is central to all student growth and learning. SLPs/SLPAs support growth and learning related to receptive language (how students understand) and expressive language (how students communicate to others). Therapists may evaluate and treat speech, language, cognitive-communication and swallowing disorders. Program SLPs will work to identify a student’s primary mode of communication (e.g. physical/facial/body gestures, sign language, verbalization, etc.) and support functional communication across all settings. Augmentative communication devices, picture-exchange communication system (PECS) and/or voice-output devices will be explored when appropriate to facilitate communication. Speech disorders may include articulation, fluency or voice challenges. Language disorders may include phonology (sound combinations), morphology (word forms), syntax (order/combination of words), semantics (meaning/content of language), and/or pragmatics (function of social language).
Occupational Therapists
OTs/COTAs work to support students to access all activities and increase their independent participation in academic, social, and vocational activities. OTs/COTAs understand the neurological systems of the body and support student growth for learning, organization, and motor planning activities. OTs/COTAs support identification of appropriate accommodations to allow independent access to activities. OTs/COTAs also work to support activities of daily living (ADLs) working toward further independence.
Physical Therapists
PTs/PTAs know how to manage the body’s four major systems – musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, cardiovascular/pulmonary, and integumentary (skin). They work towards restoring and maximizing independence and mobility. PTs/PTAs address balance and flexibility and decrease risk for injuries: they have the role of coordinating durable medical goods as they effect a student’s potential to learn.
Social Workers
The STAR Social Worker provides consultation to school staff related to understanding of emotional and mental health needs. Symptoms and characteristics of mental health disorders, trauma or other experiences have a direct impact on a student’s educational program. The Social Worker works in collaboration with the program nurses to understand the medications that may be part of a student’s program. The Program Social Worker works directly with community collaterals (e.g. JRI, FCP, DMH) to support communication between home and school programming.
Board Certified Behavior Analyst
The STAR Program BCBAs work directly with all staff (teaching, therapists, nursing, etc.) to coordinate understanding of behaviors. Behavior is believed to be a student’s communication related to what is happening in their physical or mental state and/or their interpretation of the environment around them. Principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) are the foundation of programming in the STAR Program. ABA focuses on the observable relationship of behavior to the environment. Reinforcement can serve to have a behavior continue (both positive and negative). Functional analysis is ongoing to develop strategies based on the hypothesis of a behavior’s function (e.g. attention, avoidance, escape, seeking a tangible, physical/sensory needs). BCBAs monitor classroom/program behavioral management and when necessary, development of individual behavior support plans.