By Christine Whitmarsh, RN, BSN
In most U.S. schools, budgets are strained and educators are looking for creative solutions to juggle all the responsibilities on their already crowded plates. Therefore, identifying potential developmental disorders and learning disabilities in children may unfortunately fall through the cracks. This is where physical therapists and occupational therapists and especially speech language pathologists working even part time in schools, can play a critical role in spotting disabilities and positively affecting a child’s future.
Common early childhood developmental disorders include cerebral palsy, hearing loss, mental retardation, vision impairment and the autism spectrum disorders. Funding for autism care is a hot button issue among educators, parents, primary care providers and rehab therapists now. Travel speech therapists and traveling speech language pathologists may soon see the benefits, in the form of increased assignments, from autism treatment funding legislation. Eight states – Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Texas – have currently passed some form of the bill. Twenty-four additional states have introduced similar bills.
Therapists and traveling rehabilitation therapists working in schools have the experience and knowledge to see things in children that teachers and parents may not immediately pick up on. Early detection may lessen the severity or slow the progress of developmental disabilities or learning disorders so it is well worth the therapist’s time to conduct thorough assessments and screenings. Traveling therapists in all three disciplines – speech therapy, physical therapy and occupational therapy – are greatly needed in all areas of the country. Fill out the quick application on our “Apply Now” page to find a traveling therapy agency that best suits your needs and goals.
Christine Whitmarsh is a Registered Nurse with a BSN from the University of Rhode Island. She is a freelance health journalist and medical writer and a contributor to Travel Nurse Source and Allied Travel Careers.