The goal of school-based therapy is to address the student’s educational needs and functional skills necessary to participate in the educational environment. School-based therapists provide strategies on how to best capitalize on a student’s abilities and minimize the impact of the student’s disabilities in the school environment.
Objectives can be addressed through direct physical therapy and/or consultation with parents/teachers/other support staff, to address positioning, mobility throughout the school, wheelchair mobility, providing/fitting adaptive equipment, transfer/lift training, and gross motor skill development for educational activity.
According to the Texas Board of PT Examiners, a prescription for physical therapy must be obtained before direct services can begin.
Educationally relevant PT Services may include:
- Gross Motor Skill Development-generally provided in the preschool setting to promote participation and safety in the classroom/ school environment.
- Positioning- in order to support the student in the most optimal posture for learning and to provide a variety of positional experiences throughout the school day.
- Ambulation Training-training with or without assistive devices to promote a student’s independence and ability to access their educational environment.
- Mobility Training- manual and or power wheelchair training to obtain maximal independent mobility within the educational environment
- Transfer Skills-to permit the student to manage transfer activities for self-care and in order to attain optimal independence in the educational setting.
Region XI Education Service Center:
Physical Therapy in the Education Setting: Under the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), physical therapy is considered a related service. Related services are those that are deemed necessary for a child to make progress on goals/objectives. Intervention in the education setting is not provided to remedy dysfunction under IDEA, but instead to help the student achieve his/her learning and participation goals. Schools are responsible only for those services necessary for the student to make progress in his/her special education program. Discontinuation of related services may occur when skills needed have been incorporated into school routines, when needed supports are in place without the addition of services or when the student no longer needs related service support to progress on goals/objectives.
www.txspot.org : is THE SOURCE for those who want to know about providing school-based Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy in Texas. TxSpot provides credible, authoritative policy and practice information for supporting Texas school children who are in need of Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy services.
https://pediatricapta.org/pdfs/IDEA%20Schools.pdf : Part B of IDEA mandates the education of children, 3-21 years old, who have a disability that interferes with their educational performance and their ability to benefit from their educational program.
Deborah R. Edwards, PT
Licensed Physical Therapist
(817)949-4400 x 4433
Stacy Carey, PTA
Licensed Physical Therapist Assistant
(817)949-4300 x 4324
A student may need PT when:
- the student is having difficulty in functional performance areas;
- previous interventions or strategies have been unsuccessful;
- there is potential for improvement with physical therapy intervention methods;
- physical therapy is necessary as a related service in order for the student to benefit from special education; and
- the expertise and service of a PT is required to meet the student’s identified needs or to assist the team in providing or developing the special educational program.