School-based OT/PT SERVICES
Occupational and Physical therapy services in the school system are related services to the student’s special education program. OT and PT services will vary depending upon the student’s educational need. IDEA 2004, the federal law guiding OT and PT practice within public schools, requires that OT and PT practices support students so that they can benefit from their special education programming. At times, a student may require clinic or home-based therapy interventions to meet their medical needs. School based OT and PT services may not meet the total therapy needs of a child.
School-based Therapists work to modify the student’s school environment, obtain appropriate equipment or tools, train student and educational staff in follow through of activities, and continuously monitor the effectiveness of the recommended educationally-relevant program. The ultimate goal is meaningful student participation in the least restrictive environment, as appropriate.
School Based OT and PT Services: Governed by state and federal laws;
♦ Related services to special education; Intended to promote access to the educational environment and curriculum based activities
♦ Provision of services occurs only if the child requires such service in order to function in the educational setting as determined by a team, including the parent.
♦ Delivered in order to improve ability to perform tasks for independent function in the school setting.
♦ School based therapies are intended to support access to special education programming. Refining or maximizing weak motor skills would not be addressed if a student is successfully accessing the special education environment and curriculum based activities.
♦ A student may perform poorly on a standardized motor assessment, yet, on account of appropriate accommodations, that student may be functioning well within the classroom and school environment.
♦ School based OT and PT may not meet the total medical therapy needs of the child.