The Northland Early Education Center offers Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Speech Therapy, as well as Special Instruction. Services are predonminately provided through the MO First Steps program. Services can be provided through Medicaid, or private pay in special circumstances. Therapy visits may take place at a child’s home or preschool setting. If another site is desired, this must be agreed upon by the family, therapist and Northland Early Education Center’s administration.
A parent or caregiver must always be present during home therapy visits to ensure the therapy techniques are integrated into the family’s natural routines.
To provide physical therapy services, a doctor must submit a prescription. Without a current prescription, therapy cannot begin or continue until this document is received by NEEC administration. This will need to be updated yearly for therapy services to continue.
Only those therapy services with a confirmed source of payment are provided. Cancellations or reschedule requests need to be made to the therapist as soon as possible. If the therapist arrives at the visit site and the child is not present a “no-show” will be given. If two “no-shows” are accumulated, NEEC staff will notify the family by letter. If a third “no-show” occurs, the child will be discharged from therapy services. A copy of that letter will be sent to the child’s service coordinator. If a family cancels within one hour of the scheduled therapy time, that visit will be billed according to the First Steps Policy.
A child may be brought to the therapy area for therapy services only. Visits will be scheduled at the mutual agreement of the therapist and the family.
Family members should not arrive early for their appointment time. If it is necessary to arrive early, family members should wait outside of the therapy room until their scheduled time.
If the family arrives late for an appointment, the therapy session will still end at the scheduled time.
As NEEC provides special instruction, speech therapy, physical therapy and occupational therapy, no other therapy providers may treat children at NEEC. However, if a child needs a service NEEC does not provide, we welcome community partners to work with us in meeting each child’s need and invite them into the building as scheduled with the family and teaching staff. The family must receive prior approval from NEEC’s Program Director for another agency to treat a child on-site.
Occupational Therapist - Karen Wesloh
Karen Wesloh is NEEC’s Occupational Therapist. Karen received her degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Kansas and has been providing services at NEEC for over 20 years. Occupational therapy is provided to children from birth to age five who qualify for services after having an evaluation of performance. Occupational therapy, often referred to as simply “OT”, is the art and science of helping people do the day-to-day activities that are important to them. A child’s occupation is to play and learn and grow, but if health problems interfere with the pursuit of those occupations, special help might be needed. Children at Northland Early Education Center are usually seen individually for therapy if there are significant delays in fine motor development, sensory deficits, or feeding difficulties. Therapy can be provided at Northland Early Education Center or in the child’s home. It is the Occupational therapists job to teach the children how to be successful in their daily life.
Physical Therapist - Abby Williams
My name is Abby Williams and I am a physical therapist at NEEC. I received my Bachelor's Degree in Applied Health Sciences from Wheaton College and my Doctorate in Physical in Physical Therapy from Wichita State University. I began working at NEEC in June of 2011 and love coming to work to play with kids every day. My family so far is myself, my husband, and one big spoiled dog!
Speech & Language Pathologist
Northland Early Education Center has two Speech/Language Pathologist that provide services to children ages birth to five who qualify for services through Missouri’s First Steps program.
Tina Kemp received her Bachelor’s degree from Missouri State University and her Master’s Degree from Oklahoma State University and has been with NEEC since April 2008. The role of the speech/language pathologist is to evaluate and treat children who may have voice, speech, language, or swallowing disorders, including hearing impairments, that affect their ability to communicate.
Special Instructor - Shannon Crim
Shannon Crim in Northland Early Education Center (NEEC)’s Special Instructor, Shannon received her Bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from Park College. Shannon has been with NEEC since 1999, first as the Program Director and now as the Special Instructor. NEEC provides Special Instruction services to children ages birth to five who qualify for services through Missouri’s First Steps program. The role of the special instructor is to evaluate and treat children who might benefit from focus on cognition, social/emotional development and self-help skills. Special Instruction provides integration of skills from all of the disciplines into the child’s daily routine.
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Individual Service Planning
Individual Family Service Plans are developed by the external Service Coordinator, and NEEC staff participating, along with family and therapists. The family provides medical and other relevant information about the child’s needs, the therapist who did the external assessment provides information and the child’s functioning and therapy needs, and NEEC staff participate to share information on the child’s progress in the program. The plan covers the child’s abilities and strengths; family concerns, priorities and resources; family and child-centered outcomes; and all the goals, resources, supports and services that are needed to help the child achieve his/her full potential. If the child needs services not provided at NEEC, this plan covers those needs and where they can be met. And if there are any risks to a child from participation in the preschool program, they will be discussed with the family during this planning process.
These plans are reviewed and revised annually, unless the family requests more frequent review.
Twice a year, NEEC Lead Teachers conduct conferences with parents in which development is discussed and individual goals are set. These goals are recorded on the conference summary. The classroom teachers use anecdotal records, observations, and photographs to assess each child’s developmental level in the areas of cognition, language, and fine motor, gross motor, self-help and social/emotional skills.Back to Top
Early Intervention Services, ages Birth-3:
Infants and children from birth to age three, who have delayed development or diagnosed conditions that are associated with developmental disabilities, are referred through First Steps, a state program that funds provision of early intervention services. The authorization for services and funding are administered through First Steps’ Northwest Region SPOE.
Parents first contact the NW SPOE (Daulton Group), which arranges an evaluation of the child’s needs. The SPOE arranges the assessment by a peer review team. Following the initial assessment, the family and infant/child are referred to a Service Coordinator (SC) for the duration of the child’s participation in the First Steps program. At that time, the family can choose who and where the qualifying services will be delivered. If NEEC therapists are the chosen provider, the SC invites participation by NEEC staff as well as family members in creating goals/objectives for each service and develops an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP). After the planning meeting, the SC writes up the plan and sends copies to the service provider (NEEC) and the family.
Early Intervention Services, ages 3+:
Children over the age of three that have special needs are referred by parents or local school districts for the early education program. At this time, children are eligible to receive their preschool and therapy through the school district if they qualify, but parents may request that the child receive services at NEEC in certain instances. In that case, the school district contracts with NEEC and funds the services. More commonly, the children receive a half-day of services through the school district, and then come to NEEC for early education for the rest of the day.
Early Education Services:
Children who are typically developing, ages Birth to five, are referred directly to NEEC. The Program Director handles all such contacts, arranges family tours, and maintains the waiting list. Family tours consist of explanations of our philosophy, introduction to all rooms, and possible risks of contagious illnesses. When the child reaches the top of the waiting list, the Program Director arranges an enrollment meeting with the family.
Referrals from the SPOE usually come directly to the Therapist; referrals of older children come to the Program Director. The Program Director arranges a tour with the family. When the assessment and the IFSP have been completed, the Program Director meets with the family for enrollment.