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1920 Slabtown Road, Lima, OH 45801 Phone: 419-222-1836 Fax: 419-224-0718
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Special Education

Special Education

The cornerstone of the Allen County Educational Service Center is providing quality, specialized educational services for students with special needs. We pride ourselves in being able to offer several programs at a reduced cost to districts through shared services.

Multiple Disabilities Curriculum

Unique Learning System is a complete, dynamic curriculum program provided monthly for students with special learning needs. ULS comes in five grade bands: Elementary, Intermediate, Middle School, High School and Transitional. Each month a new thematic unit contains all the materials needed, including leveled reading books. The units are centered on a science or social studies topic and incorporate reading, writing, math, science and history. There are 29 monthly lessons in grade bands Elementary – High School, and 15 monthly lessons in the Transitional grade band. These lessons are aligned with content standards and differentiated into three levels of participation: Level 1 students, who require maximum support; Level 2 students, who require some support; and Level 3 students, who show the potential to learn and have the greatest amount of independence. Student profiles can be created to guide instruction. Online progress monitoring and much more is provided in this curriculum.

Multiple Disabilities Program

The Allen County ESC offers member school districts services for their students identified with Multiple Disabilities. We oversee and supervise  classroom throughout Allen County that offer specialized services that allow students access to the Ohio Academic Content Standards, by licensed professionals, which includes a classroom teacher and teaching assistant(s). Current classrooms are located in the following districts: Allen East, Bath, Spencerville, Shawnee and Temple Christian.

Parent Mentor Program

The Parent Mentor is the parent of a child with a disability who is available to help families and school districts by providing information, support and training.  The Goal of the Parent Mentor:

  • Guide families through the special education process and explain parents’ rights and responsibilities.
  • Listen and provide support to families and educators on an individual basis.
  • Provide information and support to families including education laws, district programs and services and community resources.
  • Attend Individual Education Program (IEP) meetings and other meetings at the request of parent or staff.
  • Build collaborative partnerships between families, schools and agencies to benefit students with disabilities.

  • Some Common Reasons Why Parents Call the Parent Mentor:
    • “I’m worried about my child moving from one school to the next.”
    • “I feel alone and wish I could talk to another parent who understands my concerns.”
    • “I have many questions about my child’s education, but I forgot to ask them at the school meetings.”
    • “I would like to be more involved in planning my child’s education.”
    • “I am worried about my child’s progress and don’t know what to do.”
    • “I feel like nobody is listening to my concerns about my child.”“I would like to have someone attend and support me at an IEP and/or other meetings at school."

    The Allen County Parent Mentor Program is funded by a grant from the Ohio Department of Education. Parent Mentor Services are provided free of charge to families in Allen County and Lima City Schools.

    Psychological Services

    Allen County ESC provides school psychologists to support local school districts.  School psychologists are responsible for timely evaluations for identification of special education services and placement, maintaining proper case records, conducting early entrance evaluations, aid the district with the development of  intervention teams and processes, provide possible counseling services when needed, serve as a resource to the school and community to develop a better understanding of psychological services, child development, mental health, and individual differences, maintain and submit appropriate records for Medicaid documentation, and participate in screening programs.  School pschologists assist districts in staying compliant with the latest legal, policy, and procedural updates as they relate to special education services and school psychology. They may also collaborate with school personnel to provide professional development opportunities, interventions and assessments, along with working with students with special educational needs.

    Special Education Supervision

    Allen County ESC provides Special Education Supervision services in various roles through consulting, Special Education Officer or Coordinator, and may serve as District Representatives based on school districts' needs.  Our service providers have extensive classroom and/or leadership experience in special education.  Service providers take active roles in decision-making, and they can help facilitate many positive outcomes for students with special needs. Specific services may include:
    • Supervise and evaluate special education personnel
    • Consult with staff, parents and outside agencies regarding Special Education programs and services to best meet student needs
    • Serve on special education teams and participate in IEP and ETR meetings
    • Submit program documentation for approval, apply for grants, submit budgets and financial reports, and prepare and submit program reports to agencies
    • Ensure compliance with all local, state and federal special education guidelines 
    • Monitor staff caseloads
    • Keep informed of all legal requirements governing special education
    • Plan appropriate training for staff
    • Recommend policies and programs essential to the needs of exceptional children
    • Provide leadership in establishing new programs and developing improved understanding of existing programs
    • Develop and initiate programs for continuous identification of exceptional children
    • Evaluate existing programs as an on-going responsibility, and recommend changes and additions as needed.
    • Develop procedures for referral, securing medical reports, psychological examination, and placement
    • Assist in recruitment, selection, and recommendation for hiring of special education personnel
    • Assume responsibility for compiling, maintaining and filing all reports, records, and other documents legally required 
    • Monitor the development and maintenance of individual records of all children receiving special services or enrolled in special classe
    • Finance and budgeting tasks related to special education.
    • Other duties as requested by school administration

    Therapy and Related Services

    Allen County ESC provides Speech Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants, Physical Therapists, and Physical Therapy Assistants services for Allen County schools. Therapists provide guidance to districts regarding special education law, equipment for children with special needs, documentation of mandated services, and Medicaid billing. Professional development is provided for our therapists to ensure they are up to date on the latest advances in their profession. The therapy team is committed to providing the highest quality services to our districts. 

    The Speech Language Pathologist's (SLP) traditional role of working with a student's speech errors has expanded over recent years. Communication and language disorders have many components that are included in the SLP's school day. These may be caused by developement delays, autism, hearing loss, multiple disabilities, learning disabilities, cerebral palsy, stuttering, and social language problems. The SLP in the schools may be called on to work with language based disorders related to reading and literacy. SLPs work to prevent, identify and treat these disorders from preschool to beyond high school. Evaluation of suspected disorders and development of Individual Educational Programs (IEP) are important parts of the work of school based SLPs. Documentation of therapy outcomes, collaboration with teachers and other professionals and advocacy for student needs and rights are a daily part of the SLP's day in school. 

    Occupational Therapy (OT) is a diverse and dynamic field dedicated to helping individuals achieve success with all of the roles and occupations in their lives ~ everything they do throughout their day. Occupational therapy providers are skilled at analyzing the underlying compnents (such as strengh, coordination, visual skills, or sensory processing skills) that may be contributing to difficulties with occupations. Occupations in the schools can include academic tasks, such as writing, cutting, and using manipulatives; self-care tasks, such as taking care of personal needs, manipulating clothing fasteners, using utensils, or putting on a coat; social particpation such as paying attention, handling frustration or anxiety, or following the classroom routine, or even skills for transition to work and life after school, such as analyzing and modifying job tasks or addressing higher level self-care skills (such as meal preparation). In the school setting, occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants help students access their education by addressing academic and funtional skills through direct intervention as well as modifying the environment for success, recommending accomodations or technology, and working collaboratively with school personnel to ensure success in all school settings.

    The Physical Therapy Team attempts to restore function and independence through gross motor activities, balance skills, strengthening and stretching exercises. Physcial Therapy is a related service provided to assist a child to move as independently as possible in the school environment, to achieve academic success and to participate fully in classroom activities. The services offered by the PT Team include direct therapy, consultation with teacher and parents, staff training, assessments, assisting with Evaluation Team Reports, and Individual Education Plans.

    Transition Services

    Transition planning is for students with disabilities ages 14 or younger, if appropriate. Successful transition planning is driven by the student’s preferences, interests, needs, and strengths. This comprehensive planning moves students toward successful future outcomes in competitive, integrated employment, education, and independent living.

    Allen County Education Service Center has been recognized by the Ohio Department of Education for our Innovative Strategies in preparing students for college and career readiness!

    Transition Coordinators work as part of the IEP team and collect data from students, parents, and teachers for Section 5 IEP Transition Plans and Evalution Team Reports. A wide array of assessment data is collected from in person interviews, surveys, and assessments utilizing Google Forms, our ESC mobile app, and Virtual Job Shadow Programs.  The Transition Coordinator works with the IEP team to develop post-secondary student goals in each of the areas of Education, Competitive Integrated Employment, and if needed, Independent Living.  The Transition Coordinator then develops services most appropriate to help students reach their goals and progress reports on services provided throughout the school year.