Our Therapeutic Mission
Milestones is a therapeutic day school that integrates the clinical expertise of our therapeutic team in order to provide students with consistent therapeutic supports across the school day. Our team of clinicians includes occupational therapists (sensory-motor / sensory integration), speech-language pathologists (social pragmatic / speech language pathology), and psychologists (emotional regulation / executive function / issues of maturity). At Milestones, every student has an assigned clinician from each discipline who leads therapeutic groups throughout the week. Should a student need individual services a clinician can provide this service.
Our Occupational Therapy
At Milestones, our occupational therapists engage in a variety of therapeutic activities with the students. Our day is structured with many different roles, such as running groups focused on functional skills needed for student success and pushing into classrooms and non-academic times to support generalization of skills. We also collaborate with our speech and language pathologists, psychologists, and transition specialists to provide community-based instruction groups. Areas of focus for both group and individual services include Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), community traveling and participation, fine and gross motor skill development, endurance, sensory processing and regulation, attention, organizational skills, and technology support. Outside of the classroom, the OTs utilize a student kitchen and laundry area to teach functional skills. Finally, Milestones offers two large sensory rooms where students learn to embed the use of sensory breaks for optimal regulation throughout the day.
Our Speech Language Pathology
Our speech language pathologists have two main roles. The first is providing social-pragmatic and community-based instruction groups. These groups focus on topics such as understanding what is expected in different social situations, how our behavior should change based on the situation, using clues to figure out how people are feeling and what they are thinking, perspective taking, problem-solving, self-advocacy, and conversation skills. The second is providing services for specific speech, language, and social needs. These services may be delivered within the classroom or in one of our therapy rooms. Many skills may be targeted during these sessions. Examples include comprehension, note-taking strategies, inferencing, grammar, story-telling, articulation, and speech fluency. In addition, the SLPs are available to meet with students when they need support in a class or with a social situation.
Our Psychological Services
Our psychologists provide a range of clinical services supporting emotional and behavioral regulation. These services include psychologically informed therapy groups, individual psychotherapy counseling, consultation to parents and school staff, neuropsychological testing, and crisis management. Groups cover a range of topics promoting healthy emotional growth and are crafted considering the specific developmental needs of the population. Topics range from how do you convey friendship to understanding your diagnosis and what it means to you. Psychologists are also available on an as-needed basis for students who are experiencing heightened emotions, difficulty solving an emotional or interpersonal problem, or need support managing a specific situation. This support might be done in a one on one meeting or might take the form of pushing into the classroom to provide additional support to that student.
Our Positive Behavior Intervention Strategies (PBIS)
Milestones is proud to be a “PBIS School.” PBIS facilitates best practices, which is an evidence-based program used in schools nationwide. PBIS is used as a framework for supporting universal teaching for responses to expected behaviors throughout the school in all areas of the day. Fostering students to extend to their highest potential is reinforced by best teaching practices across the school, creating a sense of community, and raising school spirit. Classroom PBIS strategies are important tools to decrease disruptions, increase instructional time, and improve student social behavior and academic outcomes. This is critical as schools are held to greater accountability for student outcomes and teacher effectiveness. PBIS fosters the optimal environment for learning, growth, independence, and success. At Milestones PBIS will better allow the majority of our students to best access our interventions and supports in their daily environment. PBIS allows a school to grow as a community and establishes positive cultural through school spirit and identity. Staff and students are proud that Milestones is the home of the Bulldogs, our mascot, and believe in the school's core values of respect, responsibility, and safety throughout the school environment.
Our Assistive Technology
Using technology at Milestones is an integral part of our everyday programming. Every student has a computer engaging them to complete their daily assignments and activity. All classrooms are provided with a Smartboard, improving the delivery of modern and current educational resources and availability to students. We utilize Google Classroom as our primary platform to post assignments, announcements and classroom activities. All students take advantage of the apps we download and programs to make learning engaging, fun and regulating for the students. Some of the programs we use include: Daylio, Zones of Regulation, Meditation Apps, Audible, GPS, Timers, Alarms, checking email, speech to text, text to speech, word prediction, podcasts, Audible, graphic organizer, virtual reality, visual/verbal organizing apps, and more! The teachers are able to communicate seamlessly with students and parents using this platform to ensure homework and generalization of the lessons are carried out while assisting when questions arise. In addition, assistive technology increases students overall engagement in learning. Our Assistive Technology specialist picks the app of the month to test drive in school!
Our Behavior Team
At Milestones, the Behavior Team assists in teaching and modeling expected behaviors. This team looks to create a unified culture in school that utilizes and implements positive behavior supports. We work collaboratively across different disciplines to promote Milestones’ core values while integrating therapeutic supports across the school day. The behavior team also works to create and implement individualized positive behavior support plans tailored to students who require a higher level of support. Each plan or intervention is differentiated and designed to teach and reinforce appropriate replacement behaviors while decreasing target interfering behaviors. For students who require a higher level of support, personalized interventions are put into place. Interventions include rating scales, self-monitoring point sheets, or additional reinforcement throughout their day that are age appropriate and align with the skill set of our students. The behavior team works extremely closely with classroom and therapeutic staff across the school to “catch a student being good,” create a positive culture, and promote a fun and exciting learning environment.
Our Academic Support
At Milestones, we recognize that the most effective approach to improving reading and math for students is to provide both direct instruction in identified areas of challenge, as well as teach strategies. Strategy instruction involves having students search for patterns in words and identify key content clues when reading or considering inverse operations and acronyms when working on math. Once a student learns specific strategies, s/he can generalize them to other areas of academics. Our staff are trained in a variety of programs and will adapt their methodologies to meet the individualized needs of their students. Effective instruction will include direct questioning, elaboration, role modeling, short games to motivate interest, and the use of think-aloud models. Many of our students have their reading and math needs fully met in our small group structured academic classes. For those diagnosed with dyslexia, dyscalculia or another language-based learning disability, we offer individual sessions to focus on the exact areas of deficit and then scaffold the student back into their small group classes when effective progress is made. Our reading and math specialists who work collaboratively with our special educators provide individualized instruction.