Occupational and Physical Therapy Services


School based OT and PT services are provided within the context of a student’s educational program.  As a related service in the school setting, OT and PT serve a supportive role in helping students to participate in and benefit from special education. Service levels are based on educational need and the ability of the student to access education in the least restrictive environment.

Related services are provided only when necessary instructional strategies cannot be addressed by special education or regular education staff because the expertise required to implement it is specific to the related service provider.  OT and PT services are provided along a continuum.  This ranges from full inclusion in general education with the therapist providing support to school personnel, to the therapist providing direct services.  These services may work towards specific goals in the student’s Individual Education Plan, or they may be provided through consultation, accommodations, or modifications.

Physical Therapy Services:

Students who may require PT include those with mobility impairments, sensorimotor delays, muscular, orthopedic, neurological and respiratory disorders, or postural deviations whose severity of impairment requires intervention to benefit from the educational environment. 


Occupational Therapy Services:

OT services in the educational setting may be indicated for students exhibiting impairments or significant delays with fine motor, visual motor, sensory motor, and school related self-care skills, and upper extremity functional mobility whose severity of impairment requires intervention to benefit from their educational environment.


Educational Model vs. Medical Model

Children can receive therapeutic support for developmental needs through a number of environments such as inpatient/ outpatient clinics, the home, and public schools.

Therapy services provided in the school setting fall under the educational model of practice.  This model focuses on skills that may be impacting a child’s access to education and their academic performance.  The goal is to ensure all children have equal access to their school environment. 

Any therapy services provided outside of the school setting will fall under the medical model of practice. This can be in a hospital, outpatient clinic, or even via a home health agency.  The focus is to address any deficit area to maximize skills contributing to functionality and independence in all areas of life—home, school, amd community.

“ One of the most important clarifications that support teams should undestand is that students with disabilities do not attend school to receive related services (therapies); they receive services so they can attend and participate in school.” (Giangreco, 2020)



OT/PT Referral Form
Google Doc