SCHOOL-AGE SERVICES

BCIU provides a number of related services that are available to all school districts within Berks County. They are provided on an individualized, small group, and/or large group basis depending on the individual needs of the students. Related services may be provided in the student’s home school district buildings, BCIU-operated classrooms, and/or outside placements, including cyber charter schools, non-public schools, approved private schools, and/or the student’s residence.

School districts must make referrals for services by submitting a School-Age Service Request Form to the BCIU.

BrainSTEPS

Each year, more than 3,000 of Pennsylvania’s children survive traumatic brain injuries significant enough to require hospitalization. Many of these children are left with life-altering difficulties in physical, cognitive, or behavioral functioning.

BrainSTEPS is a “Brain Injury School Re-Entry” model that is being established across Pennsylvania. BrainSTEPS Consulting Teams are composed of professionals from various disciplines who have received extensive training on educating students with Traumatic Brain Injury. Team members will act as consultants for school districts in Berks County and may also provide basic training and resources to colleagues and families as needed.

The Berks County BrainSTEPS Consulting Team was trained by the Brain Injury Association of Pennsylvania, through a Title V Grant from the PA Department of Health, partnered with the PA Department of Education. The team members have formed into a Child and Adolescent Brain Injury School Re-Entry Program called “BrainSTEPS.” BrainSTEPS is working to ensure that those who provide educational support to children with brain injury have a good understanding that will help those students achieve optimal educational success.

What is TBI? Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), also called acquired brain injury or simply head injury, occurs when a sudden trauma causes damage to the brain. The damage can be confined to one area of the brain or involve more than one area.

Click for a printable BrainSTEPS brochure:  >> English   >> Español

Click here to view a “Child & Adolescent Brain Injury – School Re-entry Program” powerpoint.

Camp Cranium (www.campcranium.org) is a non-profit summer camp for children with brain injuries. The camp is held in Millville, Pennsylvania.

Direct referrals to: Jeff Laubach – 610-987-8423 – jeflau@berksiu.org

CHILD & ADOLESCENT SERVICES SYSTEM PROGRAM (CASSP)

An educational representative from the BCIU is appointed to the CASSP Advisory Committee:  The representative serves as a resource to the team when discussing program/service options for students with special needs.

>> Read more about the CASSP on the County of Berks Website.

EXTENDED SCHOOL YEAR

The Extended School Year (ESY) program serves students who demonstrate regression and limited ability to recoup academic information during planned school breaks. The program typically runs three hours per day, three days per week for a four-week period during the months of July and August. Students attend summer programs in a variety of settings and receive services as determined by their IEP team. Extended school year services are provided on behalf of Berks County’s public school districts.

HEARING SUPPORT

The BCIU provides hearing support services to students ages 5 through 21 from various Berks County school districts.

Based on Part 300 of the Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Pennsylvania’s Chapter 14, Special Education Services and Programs State Regulations, the definition of a hearing impairment is: “an impairment in hearing, whether permanent or fluctuating, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance but that is not included under the definition of deafness.”

The definition for deafness is: “a hearing impairment that is so severe that the child is impaired in processing linguistic information through hearing, with or without amplification, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance.”

ORIENTATION & MOBILITY

The BCIU provides orientation and mobility (O&M) services to students ages 5 through 21 from various Berks County school districts. BCIU personnel work with blind or visually impaired children to enable those students to attain systematic orientation to and safe movement within their environments in school, home, and community.

O&M services include teaching children the following, as appropriate: spatial and environmental concepts and use of information received by the senses (such as sound, temperature, and vibrations) to establish, maintain, or regain orientation and line of travel (e.g., using sound at a traffic light to cross the street) – to use the long cane or a service animal to supplement visual travel skills, or, for children with no available travel vision, as a tool for safely negotiating their environment – to understand and use remaining-vision and distance-low-vision aids.

PARAPROFESSIONAL SUPPORT

The BCIU provides paraprofessional services to students ages 5 through 21 from various Berks County school districts.

The BCIU’s Office of Early Childhood and Student Services – School Age Special Education employs a number of paraprofessionals including: educational interpreters – job coaches – personal care assistants – teacher assistants – specialists.

The BCIU provides these to school districts on a fee-for-service basis. The cost also can be imbedded into the cost of the student’s educational program. The paraprofessionals support students and assist teachers with implementing the student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP).

PSYCHOLOGICAL SERVICES

The BCIU provides psychological services to students ages 5 through 21 from various Berks County school districts.

Psychological services include: administering psychological and educational tests, and other assessment procedures – interpreting assessment results – obtaining, integrating, and interpreting information about child behavior and conditions relating to learning – consulting with other staff members in planning school programs to meet the special educational needs of children as indicated by psychological tests, interviews, direct observation, and behavioral evaluations – planning and managing a program of psychological services, including psychological counseling for children and parents – assisting in developing positive behavioral intervention strategies.

SPEECH & LANGUAGE

The BCIU provides speech and language support services to students ages 5 through 21 from various Berks County school districts.

Based on Part 300 of the Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Pennsylvania’s Chapter 14, Special Education Services and Programs State Regulations, the definition of a speech and language impairment is: “A communication disorder such as stuttering, impaired articulation, a language impairment, or a voice impairment, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance.”

The BCIU’s speech and language services include: – identification of children with speech or language impairments. – diagnosis and appraisal of specific speech or language impairments – referral for medical or other professional attention necessary for the habilitation of speech or language impairments – provision of speech and language services for the habilitation or prevention of communicative impairments – counseling and guidance of parents, children, and teachers regarding speech and language impairments.

VISION SUPPORT

The BCIU provides vision support services to visually impaired students ages 5 through 21 from various Berks County school districts.

Based on Part 300 of the Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Pennsylvania’s Chapter 14, Special Education Services and Programs State Regulations, the definition of a visual impairment is: ‘An impairment in vision that, even with correction, adversely affects a child’s educational performance. The term includes both partial sight and blindness.”

The education of visually impaired students includes team planning and the use of adaptations to meet the specific visual needs of the student. Educational services will include an assurance that instructional materials are available to students in the appropriate media and at the same time as their fully sighted peers.

Vision support services include: functional vision assessment – learning media assessment – functional interpretation of medical information – individualized instruction in the Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC) – large-print/braille materials preparation – support to school  personnel/consultation – case management.

Referral Process:

  • Parent/teacher will contact local school district regarding vision concerns in the academic environment
  • Parent/Guardian provision of a clinical eye report from a vision care provider with the last 2 years detailing vision loss
  • Local school district will refer the student to BCIU for a functional vision assessment
  • The educational team will discuss students strengths and needs in the evaluation process
  • If appropriate, individualized goals/objectives wil be developed and specially designed instruction will be implemented through an IEP.
  • School districts must make referrals by submitting a  Request for School-Age Programs and Services Form to the BCIU (below).

BCIU Vision Support services are provided through a certified Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments and include: understanding of visual impairment in academic and functional environments – self-advocacy skills  – braille instruction – visual efficiency skills – social interaction skills – independent living skills – organizational skills



Unless specified differently above, contact: Brian Hocking, program administrator – 610-987-8504 – brihoc@berksiu.org