School Based Physical Therapy:
Physical therapy (PT) in the school setting helps students access the educational environment. This may include; getting from class to class, sitting through a lesson, getting to and from school, or participation in their classes.
Physical Therapy is a related service, this means in North Dakota that in order to qualify to receive services a student must also be receiving services for an educational purpose. Therapy in school may not directly address an underlying medical issue,but is aimed to help them succeed and to maximize the child’s function in the school setting. School based therapy is meant to help the student function at school. If the student has underlying issues that do not affect their functioning at school, they may receive PT service in a clinical setting (out patient) and not at the school. However, students can and sometimes do receive PT in the school setting as well as in a clinical setting.
PT’s often collaborate with the student team, which may include; special education teachers, speech language pathologists, occupational therapists, school psychologists, regular classroom teachers, paraprofessionals, ect. After the team decides if a PT evaluation is needed, the PT will then valuate the student to determine what services are needed. The team will then collaborate to find the right level of services for the student. In he schools PT can see students directly (small groups or one-on-one) or on a consultative basis. When the PT sees students on a consultative basis, they work closely with the teacher(s) and paraprofessionals to address the student’s needs in the classroom.