Specialized Services

  • Therapy Team

    Our Therapy Team consists of Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists, Physical Therapy Assistant, Speech/Language Pathologists, Vision Teacher, Orientation and Mobility Instructor and Teacher of the Deaf and Hearing Impaired.

    The Mission of the Paul B. Stephens Therapy Team is to provide a variety of multi-sensory therapy approaches including, but not limited to, the following skills: communication skills, gross and fine motor skills, visual and auditory skills. By using an interdisciplinary team approach, we will help each student reach their highest level of independent functioning.


    What is MOVE?

    We have a unique student population at Paul B Stephens.   Many of our students are reliant on their wheelchairs for positioning and mobility.   Appropriate positioning and changes in student position are very important for our students with significant mobility limitations.  Physical Therapy works with classroom staff to provide a variety of alternative positioning for our students out of their wheelchairs on a daily basis.  In addition, Paul B. Stephens has adopted the Mobility Opportunities Via Education (MOVE) curriculum for our profoundly multiply handicapped students. The Therapy Team helps to assess and plan this program with the classroom teachers to individually address each student need.


    What is Sensory Integration?

    Sensory Integration is the brain’s ability to organize what we see, feel, hear, smell, taste and movements of our body so we can function in our environment. All of these sensory systems influence a child’s growth and development. An organized sensory system influences the ability to become successful at school and is the foundation of our being.

    Sensory Integration is the organization of sensation for use so that we can respond.  To put simply, sensory integration is the ability to take in, sort out, and connect information from the world around us in an organized manner. The process of sensory integration underlies the development of all motor and social skills and the ability to perform daily living tasks.

    Sensory integration "puts it all together" so that when we eat an orange we have a total experience. We sense the orange through our eyes, (we see it), our ears (the sound of the skin peeling), mouth (the taste) our skin (on our hands and fingers and in our mouth) and information from less conscious sensory systems that tell us the exact position of our hand, how wide we open our mouth, how hard to bite down, how much to move our head to our hand. Sensory integration allows us to put this all together to have the experience of eating an orange. 

    According to J. Ayers, “the brain must organize all of these sensations if a person is to move and learn and behave normally. The brain locates, sorts, and orders sensation- somewhat as a traffic policeman directs moving cars. When sensation flows in a well-organized or integrated manner, the brain can use those sensations to form perception, behaviors, and learning. When the flow of sensation is disorganized, life can be like a rush-hour traffic jam.” (Ayres, 1979)