School-based physical and occupational therapy can be provided on a consultative or direct basis, to assist a student in gaining access to educational opportunities.
Physical therapy interventions are designed to enable the student to travel throughout the school environment, participate in classroom activities, maintain and change positions in the classroom, manage stairs, the cafeteria, playground equipment, and participate in physical education. Physical therapy can also provide adaptations or modifications to equipment and classroom settings as needed. Physical therapy interventions include functional strengthening, flexibility, gait training, balance, posture, and coordination.
Occupational therapy at school focuses on promoting independence in the areas of activities of daily living (dressing, hygiene, eating/feeding,) strength needed for fine motor, assistive technology, and written communication skills. School occupational therapy also helps a student to regulate sensory information to facilitate a child’s full participation in academic and vocational pursuits as well as play activities. The occupational therapist may adapt, design and fabricate equipment so the student can better function throughout the school.
School-based therapy is provided to give students improved access to education. It is not a substitute for medically-based therapy.