EBS Leads the Way


For parents, the beginning of a new school year always holds hope. Backpacks are filled with shiny new school supplies. Children return to routines such as “lights out” at a normal hour. The beginning of the 2017/2018 school year is no different—and for parents who have uniquely gifted children with Individual Education Plans (IEPs), this year holds even more promise thanks to last spring’s Supreme Court ruling.

Whether you are familiar with Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District or not, Endrew is the most monumental decision under IDEA in the last 30 years. In short, all eight justices ruled that when it comes to special education, schools can no longer use a “one-size-fits-all” model to provide services outlined in a child’s IEP. The ruling also states that a child’s individual strengths and weaknesses must be considered, and that districts must give students with disabilities the chance to make meaningful “appropriately ambitious” progress.

While school districts work hard to maximize special education budgets to meet every student’s needs, one private education company, EBS (Educational Based Services), helps support districts in this process. EBS is leading the way with innovative new curriculum and strategies that focus on connecting these skills to the classroom and empowering students to live happier and more productive lives—no matter their disability.

“This is a huge step in the right direction for our students and their families,” says Kara Carwell, NCSP, school psychologist and clinic director of EBS Children’s Therapy in West Chester. “This decision gives students access to a more individualized and meaningful education, which will help them be more successful and independent in adulthood.”

EBS Children’s Therapy is a part of the EBS Children’s Institute, which is the research and treatment division of EBS Healthcare, the largest school-based consulting, management and training practice, as well as the global leader in providing pediatric therapy and special education services. EBS is headquartered in West Chester and regularly conducts research and training that advances the field of pediatric therapy and special education. EBS then shares that knowledge with its partner school districts, which are located throughout the country, including Hawaii and Alaska. While students in other parts of the country have to wait to access EBS’ expertise, families in Chester and Delaware counties, and the Philadelphia region can benefit from this groundbreaking research—right here, right away!

In fact, this fall, EBS is adding two new therapy groups that embrace the idea of individualized learning: an executive functioning social skills group that uses the S.M.A.R.T.S. Curriculum (Strategies, Motivation, Awareness, Resilience, Talents, Success), and Social Thinking®, a treatment framework that inspires children to achieve their social goals, including learning to work as a team, and helping to develop relationships of all kinds.

Executive Functioning (EF) represents a person’s ability to set goals, use cognitive flexibility, organize and prioritize multi-step directions and self monitor progress. EF challenges are often misunderstood and can appear as though a child is being intentionally defiant or unmotivated.  S.M.A.R.T.S. is designed specifically for children ages 6-18 years old, and it equips kids with the strategies to better plan and execute so they can be successful across all settings.

Social Thinking® is an evidence-based skill-building framework that teaches kids how to recognize what others are feeling or thinking by showing them the connection between thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Pioneered by Speech-Language Pathologist Michelle Garcia Winner, Social Thinking can help children on the autism spectrum, ADHD, or any child needing extra support build social skills and awareness.

EBS has yet to announce when it will offer S.M.A.R.T.S. and Social Thinking training to districts and clinicians in the field. But parents who wish to find out more about these groups offered at the West Chester clinic can visit Ebschildrenstherapy.com


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