How Plumtree works in educational settings

We work together with you and the school, or early childhood setting, so your child participates in all the routines. We adjust the environment or resources when needed, so your child learns alongside other children.

Every child is an individual, so we start by meeting with you to discuss your goals and plan how we can help you reach them. As the family, you have the main relationship with the school. We are there to assist as part of the team around your child.

  • We work with your child in their classroom. We do not withdraw children to work with them on their own because this takes them away from the learning experiences that their Teacher has planned for them. Sometimes we might work with your child in a small group to provide opportunities to learn from their peers.
  • Your Therapist aims to support the inclusion of your child in daily routines. They are thinking about what skills would help your child and what adaptations could make it easier for them to do their best in the daily classroom routines, in the playground and with other children.
  • We respect the school’s goals for your child and combine these with your child’s individual therapy goals. For example, if your Speech Pathologist visits while the Teacher works on handwriting, she might use the handwriting activity to practice direction following, conversation or other communication skills.
  • Communication between all the adults involved is crucial for success. Your therapist needs to find time to talk to the Teacher, share information and ideas and plan the best ways to work together. Without these conversations, your visits will offer no real support to the Teacher in his or her work with your child. This conversation may not happen during the scheduled visit simply because the Teacher may be too busy. Please note that time in the classroom will be adjusted to make time for these important communications.
  • Our partnership is with you, the family. Therefore, it is important for us to meet with you regularly to ensure we are all working together on the same goals. We do this each visit by sending you the Service Report so that you know how things are going and what you might practice at home. We also meet with you for a ‘Parent Only’ meeting at regular intervals to look at the big picture and ensure we are all working together.
  • What happens at home is important, too. If issues have arisen at home, your therapist can pause school visits for as long as needed to respond to your new priorities. In this case, ‘Parent Only’ meetings are an important way we continue supporting you and your child. These conversations can help you decide what approach is best in the longer term and continue working towards your child’s goals.
  • Resources can make a difference! Whether it’s in the classroom, out in the playground or at home, your child may need resources to:
    • Gain independence within the daily routine
    • Make some classroom tasks easier
    • Understand what is expected
    • Assist their communication with children and adults
    • Guide behaviour

With your approval, we get these resources organised at our centre. Wherever possible, we will involve a Therapy Assistant to reduce your costs. Your therapist will discuss the options with you and ask your permission before spending time on resources to help your child reach their goals.

  • Our appointments can be for 1.5 hours. This ensures that we can make the most of the time we are at the education setting by sharing information and strategies with the staff, who can then follow through during the daily routines. We will talk to you about the session structure to ensure it will help your child achieve their goals.

We look forward to working with your child in partnership with the education setting and with you.

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