Special Services Department

Williams Administrative Building • 1230 Douglas Street • Sturgis, S.D. 57785

(605) 347-2523, ext. 4


Chrissy Peterson, director

Deb Wilburn, assistant director 

 

Welcome to the Special Services website. Special Services assists all students with varying educational needs. 

 

Parent Links/Information:

  

Speech Language Therapy 

Speech Language Therapy is the treatment of students with speech and /or language disorders. Students who are eligible for speech or language therapy may have difficulties with how they produce speech sounds, understand language or use language. Some students may have difficulty with how they use their voice or with a stuttering disorder. Specific syndromes can also affect speech and language, as well as feeding skills.


Speech and Language Disorders include the following areas:

  • Articulation and Phonology Disorders: Difficulty producing sounds and saying words correctly.
  • Fluency Disorders: The repetition of sounds, words or phrases.
  • Voice Disorders: Problems affecting the sound quality, pitch and loudness of voice.
  • Receptive Language Disorders: Difficulty understanding or processing language.
  • Expressive Language Disorders: Difficulty putting words together, having limited vocabulary, or difficulty using language in a socially appropriate way.


The person who works with your child to improve his or her speech and/or language skills may be referred to by a variety of titles including:

  • Speech-Language Pathologist 
  • Speech Therapist
  • Speech Pathologist
  • Speech Clinician

If you have questions about your child’s speech or language skills, contact the Speech-Language Pathologist in your child’s school.


Physical Therapy

Physical therapy (PT) addresses the needs of children from birth to age 21 who are unable to perform the age appropriate activities that are used throughout the school day. Some of these activities include walking up and down stairs, throwing/catching/kicking a ball, and running. These activities are performed at recess, during physical education classes, and throughout the school day. 


Treatment conditions include: 

 

  • Injuries from birth 
  • Physical disabilities 
  • Learning disabilities 
  • Burns 
  • Spinal cord injuries 
  • Amputations 

 

Physical therapy

 

  • is provided by a certified and/or licensed physical therapist.
  • includes evaluation and treatment for birth through age 21.
  • includes developmental skills in the area of motion and locomotion. 
  • provides specific goals and objectives for the individual child.

 

In order to qualify for PT services, a student must be tested by a certified physical therapist. Results of the testing must fall within state guidelines for intervention

 

Occupational Therapy  

Occupational Therapists are health care professionals within the Special Services team who work with children facing physical, cognitive, or mental health challenges that affect school performance.

 

OT’s assess hand function, oral motor function, visual motor and perceptual skills, sensory awareness/processing, balance and coordination, strength, self-care and pre-vocational tasks. These areas can be addressed through a variety of intervention strategies, which may include direct therapy with the child, consultation with the teacher, modification of the environment, provision of adaptive equipment, and staff training.

 

OT’s collaborate with teachers, parents, and educational
staff to provide the most appropriate intervention for
helping a child to become more independent at school.
Conditions that may benefit from occupational therapy
intervention include but are not limited to:

 

  • Birth injuries 
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • ADHD
  • Sensory Processing Disorders
  • Vestibular difficulties
  • Learning disabilities 
  • Developmental disabilities 
  • Physical disabilities 
  • Burns 
  • Spinal cord injuries 
  • Amputations 
  • Vision or cognitive problems 
  • Handwriting difficulties
  • Weakness or limited dexterity
  • is provided by certified and/or registered occupational therapist.
  • includes evaluation and treatment of children from birth through age 21.
  • provides therapy to facilitate fine motor skills, oral motor skills and perceptual skills as well as activities of daily living that may affect a child’s ability to function independently at school.
  • provides specific goals and objectives for the individual child. 

 

In order to qualify for occupational therapy services, the student must be tested by a certified occupational therapist. Results of the testing must fall within state guidelines for intervention in the schools. 

 

Gifted Program

 

 The Meade School District belief statement indicates that “the needs of students (are) our first priority.”  These needs vary based on individual students. The needs of gifted and talented students are distinct.  Gifted and talented students have academic skills, cognitive abilities, leadership abilities and creative talents well beyond their classmates.  The Meade School District Gifted and Talented Program offers unique opportunities for students who demonstrate these needs.  Specific programming is offered to students in grades K-8.

 

Identification for the Meade School District Gifted and Talented Program occurs through an on-going screening process including teacher observation, parent input, classroom performance and standardized test performance.  In order to qualify for the program students must have a score at or above the 95th percentile on an age-normed cognitive abilities (IQ) test.  Parents and/or guardians who have questions or concerns about their child and services should contact their classroom teacher or the Meade School District Gifted and Talented Coordinator, Laura Sandness.