Occupational therapy in the school setting is concerned with the facilitation, restoration, and/or maintenance of optimum independence in students whose adaptive skills and/or effective functioning in the environment have been impaired.
Occupational therapists evaluate the child's level of occupational performance skills in school, work, self-care, and play tasks as they relate to his/her educational performance. Occupational therapists are trained to evaluate and provide treatment to improve performance in the activities of daily living (self-maintenance tasks), work and productive activities, and play or leisure activities.
The physical therapist assists students with activities that help them with mobility, positioning, motor planning, and the proper use of the large muscle groups in the body. A large part of the physical therapist's role is assisting and educating all team members in the movement along with any equipment needs.
This is a continual aspect of a child's academic day. Physical therapists become involved when their expertise is needed to ensure the least restrictive environment for the child.
The appropriateness and
extent of therapy provided by a school division is related to
the educational need rather than the medical needs of a
student with disabilities. Therapy is intended to provide a
concentrated focus on areas of need and is generally most
therapeutic when provided for a brief period in the child's
education along with teacher follow through.
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