Occupational and physical therapy services are considered to be a related service under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act. If an eligible child is in need of a related service to benefit from special education, then that service must be provided to the child.
Occupational and/or physical therapy referrals are made by the IEP Team. Evaluations/assessments are conducted and then related service recommendations are made based upon the results of the evaluation/assessment. Occupational and/or physical therapy services that are related to the student's educational goals are provided in the least restrictive environment. This could be in the classroom, in the lunchroom, on the playground, or in any other "natural" environment the student may be in during the instructional school day.
Occupational and/or physical therapy services may include, but are not limited to: collaborating with the educational team regarding assistive technology, staff training, designing/recommending adaptations for the school environment, modifying classroom materials, teacher/staff consultation, parent training, team meetings, and direct service provisions aimed at improving the student’s skills. Occupational therapy focuses mainly on fine motor, visual/perceptual, sensory, independent/self-help, and organizational skills. Physical therapy focuses mainly on gross motor, functional mobility, positioning, and accessibility skills.
Loudon County Schools currently contracts with SPSET for occupational and physical therapy services.