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All about School Based PT

Your Guide to School Based Physical Therapy

"School based physical therapy is provided when a student needs therapy services to function in an educational environment. School based physical therapy is required by federal and state laws. It is provided at no cost to the parents. Much like how a school nurse only addresses a student’s medical needs at school, school based physical therapy only works on skills necessary for a student to function at school.

In 1975, Public Law 94-142 was passed which requires that all school aged children with a disability are entitled to special education and related services at no cost to the parents. Related services include occupational therapy, speech therapy, physical therapy and more. In 1990, Congress reauthorized Public Law 94-142 and renamed it the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or IDEA."

If your child struggles with any off the following skills or other skills needed for school environment, it could be an indicator that the student should receive school based physical therapy:

  • transitioning skills - walking up/down the stairs, getting on/off the school bus, walking from classroom to classroom in a timely manner, etc.

  • self-care skills - ability to wear and carry backpack, getting on/off toilet independently, 

  • coordination and body awareness skills - difficulty participating in PE classes, difficulty with ball skills (throwing, catching, kicking, dribbling, ...), difficulty accessing playground, bumping into objects or other students in the path, frequent falls, etc.

  • locomotor skills - difficulty with running, stepping over objects, jumping efficiently, hopping, galloping, skipping, etc. 

  • Sensory processing - decreased spatial awareness, jumping on knees for sensory input, hyperactivity, constant craving for movement and touching, gravitational insecurity, poor balance, etc. 

If you feel that your child would benefit from school-based physical therapy, do not hesitate to contact our office to find out more details and how to schedule an evaluation. 

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