Physical Therapy Department
Physical Therapists contribute to students’ educational programs by:
- Providing services for preschool and school-age students, based on developmental needs.
- Assessing students mobility, transfers, and positioning in the school environment.
- Suggesting equipment and other modifications for positioning and seating within the school environment.
- Addressing balance, strength, endurance and whole body coordination that interferes with performance in any setting in the school environment (i.e. participating in PE, standing in line with peers, walking in hallways, accessing transportation, etc.).
- Assessing and/or addressing pre-employment skills for students transitioning to a pre-vocational or work setting.
School-Based Physical Therapy
- The provision of school-based therapy is governed by federal and state laws. License requirements provide ethical guidelines that include provision of services based on professional expertise and professional judgment. School-based therapy is therefore provided ONLY if the student needs such services to function in the educational setting.
- Therapy is a continuum of services and should start at the “Response To Intervention” level before considering the need for special education services. If a student is receiving special education services and PT services are deemed necessary, therapy may be provided on a direct, indirect or a consultative basis. Direct service may be one-on-one with the student or in small/large groups. Consultation may include communication with the school team, as well as, community service providers, updates on progress, program implementation, and training of staff. Indirect services may include material fabrication, student observations, ordering equipment or other tasks directly related to the students needs.
- If team members have concerns about the service, they should directly contact the service provider. Providing services on this continuum enables therapists to meet the student’s needs and to promote success in the school environment.