Itinerant Services
 







 
 
 


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You may be wondering what exactly an itinerant teacher is and what do they do? If you are an itinerant teacher, instead of providing services to students in a traditional classroom setting, you travel from building to building and district to district providing your specialized services to children in need.

.....Itinerant teachers, at BLaST, work with students who may or may not receive special education services. Ages of our students may range from 5 to 21 in any of the 19 school districts assisted by BLaST. Any one of these 19 school districts may contract with us for these "traveling" itinerant services.

.....We are very proud of the high level of assistance our itinerant teachers are able to provide students. Take a minute to check out the descriptions of our current itinerant services. Click on "programs" to the left.

.....Every few months I will feature an itinerant teacher who will provide helpful hints and advice for parents. This month I would like you to meet Robin Brubaker who is one of our Vision Support teachers. Robin has a few tips for all parents.




By
Robin Brubaker
Teacher of the Visually Impaired

Tips For Parents
 

      Hi, I'm Robin Brubaker, Teacher of the Visually Impaired. I service the visually impaired children in the school districts of Lycoming County with the exception of Williamsport Area School District.

     As a teacher of the visually impaired, I would like to stress the importance of stimulating your child's vision in the early years of growth. Your child's vision is a learned and developed skill that requires stimulation and experience. Children with vision problems may not be able to use their vision to make eye contact or to socially bond with family members. Because vision serves as a learning sense, children with visual impairments may not learn to perform many tasks as quickly as a child with full vision because they cannot learn by mimicking the behaviors of others. A child with impaired sight may be delayed in sitting, crawling, walking, talking, or learning to read and write. For these reasons, it is important that you help to develop your child's vision.


     Vision stimulation activities can help children use their remaining vision more effectively. The activities listed below are to help stimulate the development of your child's vision. Remember that in the early developing years, children are interested in high contrast objects. Children are not visually interested in looking at objects that are too far away. Try to keep things in close range to your child.

     In the first Year

  • Place high contrast objects, such as black and white stuffed animals, just beyond reach.
  • Decorate the room to be visually stimulating by using high contrast mobiles, toys, and fabrics.
  • Move the crib to different positions in the room so that your child will experience different views of the room.
  • Talk to your baby when you enter the room so that your child will know you are there.
  • Position yourself in your child's line of sight. Once he/she focuses, move you face so that your child will follow your face with his/her eyes.
  • Use brightly colored tape around your child's bottle to create a high contrast target.
  • Use a "Mini Mag Lite" flashlight with colored lenses to encourage your child to follow the light. This will promote eye tracking skills.

    (Excerpted from "The Center for Partially Sighted" web site)

These are only a few of the many ideas one might do to help stimulate your child's vision. Encourage your child to use his/her remaining vision. I especially like a quote from Robert A. Heinlein that says "Do not handicap your children by making their lives easy". Challenge your child and make his/her goals high. You might be surprised at their performance.

 

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Speech and Language Support
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.....The Speech and Language Support program provides educational support services to students who demonstrate impairments in speech, language and communication. Disorders in the areas of articulation/phonology, voice, fluency and language must be evident to such a degree that academic achievement is affected.
.....If you would like the complete copy of IU 17's Speech and Language program description, which includes program philosophy, definitions of impairments, program criteria for services and resources for parents, students and other professionals, please email gigi at gkilroe@iu17.org

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Hearing Support
.....Hearing Support services are provided to deaf and hard of hearing students whose documented hearing loss by an audiologist shows the loss adversely effects their academic performance. Services include, but are not limited to: auditory training and speech reading, instruction in the use and care of hearing aids, academic support, language development, technology orientation and monitoring, as well as, the in-servicing of teachers and families on auditory systems. We support the idea that each student should be taught in his/her preferred mode of communication.
.....If you would like the complete copy of IU 17's Hearing Support program description, which includes program philosophy, definitions of impairments, program criteria for services and resources for parents, students and other professionals, please email gigi at gkilroe@iu17.org

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Educational Audiology
.....The service of BLaST IU 17's educational audiologist is available to all nineteen school districts within the BLaST region. Services available include:
• Coordinate hearing screening programs
• Provide community awareness about hearing
• Conduct in-service workshops for teachers
• Provide management for hearing aids and other devices
• Analyze classroom noise and acoustics/ make recommendations for
...improving the listening environment
• Handle maintenance of student aids, earmolds, tubing, hooks, batteries
...care and cleaning, trouble shooting problems
• Make impressions, make earmolds and teach earmold care to staff
...members and students
• Keep parents informed of current changes and new devices available
• Handle warranties and returns
• Discuss audiograms with parents
• Record and receive annual hearing information for adjusting of trainers
• Meet with sales representatives from hearing aid companies
• Provide in-service training on hearing impairments and their implications
...to school personnel, children and parents

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Teachers of the Visually Impaired
.....Teachers of the visually impaired provide educational support services to those whose impairment, documented by an eye care specialist, adversely effects his/her academic performance. Supportive and supplemental services include, but are not limited to: a functional vision evaluation, consultation, preparation of adapted materials, Braille reading and writing, keyboarding, handwriting, large print and optical aids, study skills and activities of daily living.
.....If you would like the complete copy of IU 17's Vision Support program description,, which includes program philosophy, definitions of impairments, program criteria for services and resources for parents, students and other professionals, please email gigi at gkilroe@iu17.org

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Orientation and Mobility
.....Orientation and Mobility training assists the visually impaired student to develop an understanding of his/her own body and position in space. Students learn to gather and use information about the environment, community resources and transportation systems. Orientation and Mobility includes instruction in safe travel skills and may include the use of low vision aids, or in some cases, a long white cane or electronic aid.

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Emotional Support

.....The Emotional Support staff provides a variety of services to those identified students whose behavior interferes with their academic achievement in the regular classroom setting. Program services to students may include: anger management, coping skills, problem solving skills, stress management, social skill development, as well as academic support. Delivery of service may be done with an individual student or in small groups. Additionally, the staff also consults with teachers and district administration on providing strategies for students at risk and acts in the role of liaison with families and community agencies.
.....If you would like the complete copy of IU 17's Emotional Support program description, which includes program philosophy, definitions of impairments, program criteria for services and resources for parents, students and other professionals, please email gigi at gkilroe@iu17.org

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Physical Therapy
.....Our Physical therapy program provides diagnostic and evaluative, consultative and direct physical therapy services. To qualify for services, the student's orthopedic, neurological and/or respiratory condition must interfere with their educational progress. The therapist consults with school personnel and parents to discuss proper classroom positioning, transfers, establishment of programs for gross motor, fine motor and gait skills, and adaptation for special needs.
.....If you would like the complete copy of IU 17's Physical Therapy program desciption, which includes program philosophy, definitions of impairments, program criteria for services and resources for parents, students and other professionals, please email gigi at gkilroe@iu17.org

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Act #89 Remedial Support
.....Remedial support in the areas of reading and math is available to those students who attend nonpublic schools and whose skills fall below grade level expectancy. Though formal testing is not required to qualify for this service, a team will prioritize students to be seen by reviewing records, such as: achievement testing, past performance, grades, parent concerns and teacher recommendations. The remedial teachers utilize the student's home school curriculum and work closely with the school's staff. Supplementary instruction is aligned with classroom instruction. This student support may be provided to an individual student or within a small group setting.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Gifted Program
      The Gifted Program service delivery models include pullout programs, whole class instruction, and independent study projects. Students seen in this program have met the eligibility requirements and have outstanding intellectual and/or creative ability. It is the philosophy of the Gifted Program staff to help these students reach their personal potential and become well-rounded, successful, life long learners."
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School Social Work Services
      School social work services are provided by a professional staff person certified by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. School social workers develop positive interpersonal relationships between members of the school, parents, students, and student problems and may also serve as attendance officers. Districts may secure Intermediate Unit social work services through the Division of Student Services.
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. Supervisor:
..Itinerant Services
..gkilroe@iu17.org

Check It Out:
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by Linda Campman-Ruble,
Emotional Support
Teacher