Physical Therapy

SCHOOL BASED PHYSICAL THERAPY

School based physical therapists are experts in movement and facilitate a student’s physical access and engagement in their school day.  Schools provide physical therapy when a child with a disability requires this related service to assist the child to benefit from special education. Physical therapists focus on a child's ability to move and participate as independently as possible in the school environment.  Physical therapy interventions are designed to enable the student to travel throughout the school environment; participate in classroom and gross motor activities; maintain and change positions in the classroom; as well as manage stairs, restrooms, playground, and the cafeteria.  Using direct and indirect services, as well as assistive technology, adaptive equipment, and environmental modifications, school physical therapists collaborate with parents, teachers and other educational staff to help implement a child's special education program and facilitate maximal participation and engagement in their school day.


Physical therapy services are provided across a continuum and are determined by the Individual Education Plan (IEP) team.  Based on these student's needs, the physical therapy service delivery model includes consultation and training with education team members and direct "hands on" intervention, individually or in groups.  

  • The provision of school-based therapy is governed by federal and state laws.  Therapy is a related service to special education and is provided only if the student needs therapy to benefit from their special education program.

  • Therapy is determined by the Individual Education Plan (IEP) team members.  Parents are a part of this team.  The team determines the amount, frequency and duration of therapy.

  • Therapy may be provided individually or in groups by a therapist.  Intervention may or may not be provided directly to the child.  Collaborating with educational staff to modify the child's environment and daily school activities is always a part of school therapy.  

  • The decision to discontinue physical therapy is made by the IEP team.  This may occur when the student is no longer eligible for special education, when other members of the IEP Team can provide necessary interventions, or when the child can perform school tasks without therapeutic intervention.

In some instances, students whose disability affects their participation in school but who do not qualify under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), may be eligible to receive occupational therapy under other federal laws such as Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.



Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2020 Intrado Corporation. All rights reserved.