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Physical Therapy & Occupational Therapy (OT & PT)


The provision of occupational and physical therapy in the schools is based upon an educational model and not a medical model. Within the educational model, the therapists adhere to educational regulations. Medical authorization is not needed for OT but is required for PT. The therapist evaluates the child for functioning in the EDUCATION ENVIRONMENT. It is helpful to have information from the child’s medical team, but that medical team does not determine the need for educational therapies. Therapy is not intended to induce recovery, but instead an increase in functioning and the child’s ability to access the educational environment.

Physical and Occupational Therapies in the school environment focus on:

• Developing functional skills and adaptations that promote attainment of educational objectives

• Improving knowledge and skills of the family and educational staff regarding the educational impact of the student’s disability on their educational program

• Maximizing the child’s ability to execute functional tasks required at school and access adaptive equipment

• Enabling the child to participate in school activities and remain in the least restrictive environment

• Providing for the student’s optimal freedom of movement and access in the school setting

• Facilitating the student’s ability to respond to basic sensorimotor information as a foundation for the acquisition and development of motor skills and for the organization of attention and behavior • Maintaining the child in the best position of stability to increase functional usage of hands and to optimize learning

• Communicating the student’s skills to the educational team • Improving the competency of educational staff in body mechanics, handling techniques, and motor skills

• Providing educationally based therapy activities both within and outside of the classroom