Physical and/or Occupational Therapy is (are) related service(s) that assist a child with a disability to benefit from Special Education. These therapies must relate to the student's successful participation in educational activities. A student will not be designated as a "child with a disability" if the child needs only a related service, but not special education. Educationally relevant Occupational / Physical Therapy is delivered in an environment where naturally occurring activities / routines address goals and objectives intended to help students achieve greater functional independence.
Documentation the student meets both of the following:
- a chronic or acute medical or health condition as diagnosed and described by a licensed physician; and
- the existence of educational needs as a result of the medical or health condition
- Teacher/parent identifies problem hindering student's function in school environment
- Parent obtains doctor's referral for occupational/physical therapy from student's physician.
- Referral for testing signed by parents. Testing includes therapy evaluation, ability / achievement assessment, and current educational performance as evaluated by the teacher. If student is currently eligible for special education, the ability/achievement assessment is waived .
- Assessments are completed
- Eligibility/IEP meetings are scheduled
- In order to qualify for Occupational / Physical Therapy, the student must also be eligible for Special Education through the ability achievement testing process.
Occupational/Physical Therapy as Related Service
- Delivered in minutes per month
- Delivered in a variety of settings
- Works in collaboration with student's support staff (regular educator, special education, classroom aide, etc.) allowing the student to function successfully while pursuing appropriate educational goals.
- Encourages co-ordination among team members
- Builds skills of other professionals / paraprofessionals
- Enhances resources for problem solving
- Provide training for support staff so that activities may be infused into the educational program and daily activities
- Employs the concept of shared goals
- Aides students participating in job related activities