Clinical/Health Services

The Boston Higashi School, utilizing Daily Life Therapy®, offers an integrated service delivery model to address the developmental needs of its students. This means in practice that specialized services for students to meet deficits in various developmental domains are integrated and addressed throughout the entire day rather than offered on a 1:1 or “pull out” basis. The advantage of the Boston Higashi School model is that these services are provided on a full-time, in-context basis throughout the entire day so that learning is continuously reinforced and practiced.

The Clinical Team

Offers services on a consultative collaborative model, utilizing licensed specialists in the areas of speech and language pathology, occupational therapy, and physical therapy. Services are individualized to the student’s needs, and provided programmatically within classroom settings in contextually meaningful teaching environments.

Speech and Language Therapy

Collaborative and consultative speech and language services are provided to monitor the student’s progress, participate in the development of lessons, consult with teachers as needed, provide ongoing training and participate in the development of a student’s Individualized Educational Program. These services ensure that the most current speech and language interventions are incorporated into the students’ overall program.

Physical Therapy

At Boston Higashi, Physical Therapy is offered in a consultative collaborative model in the natural environment of the school day. The Physical therapist assesses each student’s abilities to access the environment and participate in all aspects of their day involving movement. This includes jogging, PE class, classroom based activities, and transitions. The PT collaborates with staff to offer modifications and alternative activities as needed based on each student’s ability. Return to exercise programs, skill based tasks, safety, and strength are all addressed throughout the school setting in order to provide a safe, efficient, and functional school environment.

Occupational Therapy

Under the Boston Higashi clinical service model, occupational therapists work with both teachers and students to support skill development in the areas of academics, special subjects (i.e art), self-care and leisure/play. Occupational Therapists assess skills related to motor functioning, visual motor and visual perceptual abilities and sensory processing needs. The occupational therapists consult with the teachers to help them incorporate activities to ensure that these skills are practiced and generalized across the school setting. They provide strategies and modifications when needed, for successful participation, so that students are as functionally independent as possible.

Reading Specialist

Literacy is incorporated throughout all content areas, tying together listening, reading, writing, and communicating across all subjects. Students will be exposed to 4 main areas of instructions: working with words, guided reading, writing, and self-selected reading during language arts instruction and basic study/homeroom time. Students will work on a variety of skills from the concepts about print (e.g., directionality, book handling skills), sight words, decoding skills, fluency, and comprehension. The goal for the students is to acquire reading/writing skills to gain information and to use it for leisure and recreation, and subsequently improve the quality of their lives.

Sensory Motor Room

Daily Life Therapy® seeks to strengthen the connection between the body and mind. Our Sensory Motor Room allows our youngest students to develop sensory and body awareness. The equipment in the sensory motor room entices students to play and explore while stimulating the proprioceptive and vestibular systems. Students strengthen their muscles, improve motor planning, and build endurance while having fun with their friends and teachers. The Sensory Motor Room features an activity tower with many components with which to play, learn and grow, a scooter board ramp that provides a fast-track for strengthening the core, arms and legs, a jump and play island for the whole body to work together to pull, balance and bounce, which increases muscle strength, endurance and coordination. Other features of the Sensory Motor Room include, balance beam, stepping stones, weighted blankets, hats & lap pads, body socks, parachutes, tunnels, Yogibo & Howdahug seating and guided, self-regulation recordings.

Health Services

Health Services

Health Services are provided on-site in our Health Room on a 24-hour basis. We have a full-time nursing staff, including a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, who works in consultation with a board-certified physician serving as our Medical Consultant. Nutritional services are provided by a Registered Dietitian, in conjunction with nursing. Nutritional recommendations are implemented by the Director of Food Services.

Case Management

The Case Management Team

The Case Management Team serves as a liaison between school, families, school districts, and human services agencies. Case Managers wear many hats. They attend IEP meetings, psychiatry appointments, work across school, community, and home settings, all to ensure cohesive collaboration on behalf of our students. The Case Managers are licensed psychologists, clinical social workers, licensed mental health counselors, educators, nurses and others, all merging their specialties to best assess and create the best strategies for our students. They support students and families, utilize community and public resources, assist with behavioral plans, emergencies, guardianship, transition, and a host of other hurdles that Higashi families may face.

Social and Emotional Learning Curriculum Zones of Regulation and CASEL

The Social Emotional Learning (SEL) curriculum at BHS is aimed to provide students with a developmentally appropriate understanding of emotional literacy, tools for identifying and communicating emotional needs, strategies for managing emotions, and opportunities to develop and expand their relational capacity. The Boston Higashi School utilizes the Zones of Regulation curriculum to foster skills in self-regulation and emotional control, as well as Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) to introduce concepts of self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills and decision-making in a developmentally appropriate way. SEL lessons are developed by the school-based mental health clinician, in consultation with the director of curriculum, speech and language pathologists as well as the occupational therapists in order to create a cross curricular and multi-modal therapeutic approach to learning. Lessons are tied to ELA through children’s literature, support the communication/speech program by strengthening emotion-based vocabulary, and encourage the strengthening of OT/motor skills by providing students with sensory tools and activities to aid in self-regulation.